born in 1988 in Kinshasa (Congo)
The artist Amani Bodo, son of the well-known artist Pierre Bodo, started painting at the age of 10 years.
In 2020 Primo Marella Gallery presented the exhibition Africa Universe. Chapter 3,The art of storytellers. The continuation of the tradition: from Chéri Cherin (1955, Democratic Republic of the Congo) to Amani Bodo, the third part of a group show, entirely dedicated to Contemporary African Art. This chapter was focused to the artists who have been associated with the School of Popular Painting from Kinshasa.
This artistic movement, initially practiced on sacks attached onto the canvas and displayed on the streets, was born in the seventies of the 20th century in the capital of the De- mocratic Republic of the Congo. The movement was described by the founding artists as something that comes from the people and is for the people, thus expressing their interest in the imaginaryderiving from daily life and popular culture. The nature of Popular Painting, mainly figurative anddescriptive, is visceral and complex as it criticizes, often with a vein of cynicism and irony, the social and political life of the African community.
The artist Amani Bodo takes his cue from the popular life of his native land. However, unlike Chéri Cherin, Amani Bodo deviates from the representation in comics style in favour of metaphorical and allegorical painting, rich in symbolism.
The artistic language of Amani Bodo is decidedly more innovative and evolved than that of his masters, being characterized by a deeper psycho-intellectual analysis and by a peculiar technique, even more complex and detailed, called in lingala “Mwangisa”, a sort of “dripping” on the canvas. Working on a scheme with predetermined measures, his approach to painting is almost scientific because, Amani Bodo does not use words to explain history, as in a comic. On the contrary, the artist creates enigmatic images, often surrealistic, which must be read and resolved directly by the observer.
Born in 1988, Democratic Republic of the Congo
He lives and works in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Amani Bodo, Unveiling the enigma and the surreal, Primo Marella Gallery, Lugano, Switzerland