Nzebo, Boris
Born in 1979 in Port-Gentil, Gabon
Lives and works in Douala, Cameroon
Boris Nzebo explores subjects drawn from his hometown Douala, Cameroon’s largest city. He constructs portraits using detailed studies of traditional African hairstyles, layered with informal snapshots of local neighbourhoods, urban architecture and scenes from daily life. Nzebo's stylised execution is influenced by painted haircut sign boards found outside Cameroon's barber shops, and the murals and graffiti throughout Douala’s suburbs. He uses a strong colour palette and appropriates the language of advertising. The works are instantly recognisable - simultaneously personal and universal - and speak in a vernacular familiar to the city’s inhabitants. Solo exhibitions include Urban Style, Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester (2016). Selected group exhibitions include Pangaea: New Art from Africa and Latin America (2014) and Pangaea II: New Art from Africa and Latin America, Saatchi Gallery, London (2015).
Boris Nzebo, Survivors (self portrait) 2, 2018, Powder-coated aluminum, 161.5 x 59.5 cm, Edition of 6. Courtesy Jack Bell Gallery