Galerie Natalie Seroussi and Galerie MAGNIN-A join forces to show three Congolese artists from Kinshasa: Bodys Isek Kingelez, Moke and Chéri Samba.
These three artists have gone through all the political changes of their time. They grew up in the Belgian Congo, became recognized painters while the country was taking the name of Zaire, and experienced the birth of the Democratic Republic of Congo. At the heart of these hopes and torments, they created singular works that respond to each other to the point of forming an artistic trio. Moke has chronicled the streets of Kinshasa, virtuosically blending the precision of the ethnologist's gaze with the joy of painting. Although he is the author of a true sociology of the daily life of the Congolese, the tones of his palette make the tumult of the ports, markets and bars of the capital heard. To use an expression dear to Chéri Samba, Moke's paintings also cry out to us: "I love color".
Chéri Samba, is today the best known Congolese artist, and the only survivor of this generation, but he differs from Moke by his political commitment. In his works, the text often comes to voluntarily explain the image in order to always deliver a message if not an oracle. The division of tasks between these three artists is almost perfect. Moke describes the situation, Chéri Samba denounces it and Bodys Isek Kingelez imagines the future. In his models of imaginary cities, Kingelez projects the image of a modern, prosperous and strong Africa. By using mostly recycled materials to build his utopian buildings, he reminds the Congolese that they too can be masters of their dreams. Each in their own way, these three artists thus deliver a work that is inseparably aesthetic and political. Pioneers of the Congolese artistic scene, these "Kings of Kin" are the true guardians of their country's independence. While the wheel of political life turns, their works are always unfolding more and more. They are present in the largest private and public collections, including that of the MoMA in New York, which has devoted a retrospective to Kingelez in the fall of 2018. And if the question of why and how the Natalie Seroussi Gallery, specializing in modern art, joined forces with the MAGNIN-A Gallery, specializing in contemporary African art, still burns your lips, it is simply to proclaim loud and clear that Moke, Samba and Kingelez have become modern artists and are still our contemporaries.