Amani Bodo - Unveiling the enigma and the surreal

Amani Bodo - Unveiling the enigma and the surreal

12 March - 31 December 2021

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 on 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 Democratic 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 and descriptive, is visceral and complex as it criticizes, often with a vein of cynicism and irony, the social and political life of the African community. 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. We are pleased to share with you some hints on his paintings to help you on your own unveiling of Amani Bodo's enigma...

Les oiseaux. Quelles technologies pour nourrir la planète?

By 2050, up to 10 billion people could live on Earth. To be able to feed and maintain everybody we’ll need new technologies, to create, supervise and control all agricultural activities that will serve the universal sustenance. To do this, we will have to exploit the brain, which is the database, the archive of all information, the input that can generate and devise a better and winning solution to protect the human being and nature, exploiting the new technological tools available.

 Le rêve du président

 “The character in the painting is me. This is a dream, it is an illusion, it is a desire. But reality is another thing. Everyone has a dream. Life doesn't offer us everything we want. Life never gives anything away. You have to work to achieve your dreams. Just like a poor man who dreams of becoming President of the Republic and who, with pants hanging over his shoulders and slippers on his feet, dreams and imagines that he worn an elegant suit.” Amani Bodo

Tout flatteur vit aux dépens de celui qui l'écoute

 "A lot of people take it for buyers and to get a work from an artist it starts with it's disguised and goes through empty speeches of flattery, talking about projects ect. After you get the thing you realize that he just wanted you flattered to get what he was looking for. The same old story for artists.."