Afro Funk

You are invited to discover 4 great African artists at the Gallery Art-Z in Paris:

Afro Funk

du 25 avril au 26 mai.


Afro Funk Exhibition: Malick Sidibé, King Massassy, Evans Mbugua, Francklin Mbungu, and Nyaba Ouedraogo. With Dupif Photo. Bamako, Kinshasa, Nairobi, Lagos …

After independence, African cities shook off the dust from colonization and neo-colonialism, which had tarnished their luster. With incredible dynamism and vitality, jazz, rock, funk, rumba & soul, opened up the realm of the marvelous. The mental landscape and the topography of cities have gradually integrated this “second world”: the world of the night.

To live “connected” is to live with the times …

The artists of the exhibition “Afro Funk” are part of a new temporality.
They recycle and embody a surprising vocabulary and aesthetic. Today as in the past, this “art of living” feverishly reflects the social history of Kinshasa, Bamako, Nairobi and Lagos.

The famous Malian photographer Malick Sidibé (1936-2016) was, after the independence of Mali, in the years 1960-1970, the photographer of the youthful nights of Bamako. After long nights of partying, he would shoot his photos until dawn. He also made many portraits in his studio, where there was always a crowd. We pay tribute to the one we nicknamed “The Eye of Bamako” by exhibiting his unpublished portraits and photos of the 70’s.

The artist Evans Mbugua draws his inspiration from graphic design and in particular African scripts and alphabets. As a true “graphic recycler”, he creates a new “vocabulary”, drawn from product packaging and street signs. The artist wishes to give a second life, more colorful and more vivid, to patterns present in his culture, in particular in African fabrics (wax, khangas, batik, …). Evans’  “under glass” work like stained glass, with the power of light revealing their colors and rhythmic repetition. His modern writing and pointillist style condense into portraits and snapshots caught in this turbulence of eddies and images of which Africa is the center.

Francklin Mbungu is a surprising artist on the contemporary  Congolese scene. Son of an antique dealer, he began a career as an agent for artists, then turned to contemporary art by digging a personal furrow, far from the traces of the great masters of Congolese popular painting. Francklin plays with scissors and glue … He creates special cutouts in sheets of paper of all colors, and collages on rigid cardboard. Characters emerge, here a street musician, there a couple of dancers. Stories are told…

Self-taught & beyond classification, “King” Massassy is never where you would expect. In the early 1990s, he was one of the pioneers of Malian rap. His biting texts against Arab-Muslim and European slavery, the patriarchal system or de-pigmentation propelled him with his group Sofa onto the international scene. 10 years later, we find him an actor. Today, he stands out as a photographer. Renamed “Fotolala King Massassy“, he was the only Malian to exhibit at the 11th Rencontre in Bamako, the African biennial of photography. His portraits of musicians and sappers reveal a vibrant Africa, full of joy and hope.

You are invited to discover these four artists during the Afro Funk exhibition from April 25 to May 26.

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