PRIMO MARELLA GALLERY

The Black Ghost

Vitshois Mwilambwe Bondo, Arim Andrew, Kelechi Nwaneri, Cristiano Mangovo, Hako Hankson, Frederick Okai Tetteh

17 November - 31 December 2022

The Black Ghost

The Black Ghost

 

Vitshois Mwilambwe Bondo
Kelechi Nwaneri
Cristiano Mangovo
Hako Hankson
Frederick Okai Tetteh
Arim Andrew

_________________

 

Opening: 17th November 2022

6 pm

 

Primo Marella Gallery is pleased to present the group exhibition THE BLACK GHOST.

 

The Black Ghost exhibition aims at highlighting the innovative and strong attitude of the most interesting African artists of the new generation to paint towards a new figurative direction, where the characters – mainly black people - become the real protagonists of short stories, involved in extraneous circumstances and visions. 

The power of storytelling through portraiture turns into a vehicle for interrogating ideas of cultural heritage and identity.

Most of the times, characters are depicted as flat shapes, with little width, thin lines, almost as they were emptied bodies. If it wasn’t for the presence of human traits, i.e. eyes, nose and lips, they would be pure shadows.

Sometimes these artists self-portray, sometimes they represent real people they know, some other times they paint just imaginary characters. In any case, the figures are always wrapped in an unsettling atmosphere, which leads to the idea that these figures with human looks are in fact inhuman, unreal and spectral. 

They might even be figures from fantasy, maybe ghosts. They could be black ghosts. 

 

This way of painting, new to many, is becoming much common across the community of African artists belonging to the new wave of painters. Despite the different countries of origin, such as Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Uganda, Senegal, Angola, Congo, Kenya, Ethiopia, etc., the members of this new group prefer to make portraits of people they are close with or well-known public figures they somehow esteem. The stories depicted in their artworks come from the everyday life or domestic scenes, always well framed and delimitated on the canvas, in which the characters move slowly, with an incredulous gaze, sometimes even resigned. 

The protagonists of the scenes rarely touch each other nor interact, they are seldom drawn as happy or enthusiast. Rather frequently the circumstances are neutral or a little sad, with almost no jolts for viewers. 

The stories are always rebus, with elements here and there to let the spectators imagine a story that often is not understood and therefore remains only in the artist’s mind. Will it be an event set in reality or simply a fantastic and visionary story?

However, undoubtedly the paintings come from the artists’ dreams, visions, they are born out of nowhere, with a few jolts of fantasy similarly, maybe, to their existence. They may be visions coming from their psyche linked to memories from childhood and adolescence, set in places that have not much to offer, scenes that appear extremely simple, common and ordinary to our eyes, but that maybe are special for them. Perhaps this is due to the fact that these artists’ past life in their motherland offered them even a worse reality than the one they depict. 

 

When we gathered these artists to announce the planning of the group show and told them that The Black Ghost would have been the title, they all welcomed the project instantly, with enthusiasm and without asking for further explanations. 

When we told them the exhibition title, they already knew exactly what works they needed to make; they already knew they belonged to The Black Ghost

Alien and avatar

Vitshois Mwilambwe Bondo

Alien and avatar
2016
Acrylic and collage on canvas
189,5 × 189,5 cm

Alien and avatar
2016 - Acrylic and collage on canvas - 189,5 × 189,5 cm

Queen Nanny

Vitshois Mwilambwe Bondo

Queen Nanny
2022
Collage and acrylic on canvas
250 × 250 cm

Queen Nanny
2022 - Collage and acrylic on canvas - 250 × 250 cm

Not title yet

Kelechi Nwaneri

Not title yet
2022
Oil on canvas
155 × 152 cm

Not title yet
2022 - Oil on canvas - 155 × 152 cm

Not title yet

Kelechi Nwaneri

Not title yet
2022
Oil on canvas
118 x 120 cm

Not title yet
2022 - Oil on canvas - 118 x 120 cm

Not title yet

Kelechi Nwaneri

Not title yet
2022
Oil on canvas
120 × 160 cm

Not title yet
2022 - Oil on canvas - 120 × 160 cm

Reflecting

Cristiano Mangovo

Reflecting
2022
Acrylic on canvas
200 × 250 cm

Reflecting
2022 - Acrylic on canvas - 200 × 250 cm

The Girl with Fish. Or Perpetual Pisces

Cristiano Mangovo

The Girl with Fish. Or Perpetual Pisces
2022
Acrylic on canvas
Acrylic on canvas

The Girl with Fish. Or Perpetual Pisces
2022 - Acrylic on canvas - Acrylic on canvas

Celebration

Cristiano Mangovo

Celebration
2022
Acrylic on canvas
140 × 170 cm

Celebration
2022 - Acrylic on canvas - 140 × 170 cm

Headdress of Virgin and the Queen

Hako Hankson

Headdress of Virgin and the Queen
2022
Acrylic and ink on canvas
165 × 200 cm

Headdress of Virgin and the Queen
2022 - Acrylic and ink on canvas - 165 × 200 cm

Ornamentation and attraction

Hako Hankson

Ornamentation and attraction
2022
Acrylic and ink on canvas
165 × 200 cm

Ornamentation and attraction
2022 - Acrylic and ink on canvas - 165 × 200 cm

Star of Liberty

Hako Hankson

Star of Liberty
2022
Acrylic and ink on canvas
165 × 200 cm

Star of Liberty
2022 - Acrylic and ink on canvas - 165 × 200 cm

The rites of Tragedy

Hako Hankson

The rites of Tragedy
2022
Acrylic and ink on canvas
160 × 300 cm

The rites of Tragedy
2022 - Acrylic and ink on canvas - 160 × 300 cm

Dipo: initiation into womanhood

Frederick Tetteh

Dipo: initiation into womanhood
2022
Acrylic and fumage on canva
40 × 120 cm

Dipo: initiation into womanhood
2022 - Acrylic and fumage on canva - 40 × 120 cm

Noir Melancholia

Frederick Tetteh

Noir Melancholia
2022
Oil and fumage on canvas
120 × 73 cm

Noir Melancholia
2022 - Oil and fumage on canvas - 120 × 73 cm

Not title yet

Arim Andrew

Not title yet
2022
Oil on canvas
129,5 × 99,5 cm

Not title yet
2022 - Oil on canvas - 129,5 × 99,5 cm

Not title yet

Arim Andrew

Not title yet
2022
Oil on canvas
159,5 × 139,5 cm

Not title yet
2022 - Oil on canvas - 159,5 × 139,5 cm