Mbela Mambueni

Through his works, Congolese artist Mbela Mambueni is expressing his talents through strokes of acrylic to depict, arguably, the two most important actors on our planet Earth: humans and animals- or are they really two distinct actors?

Our collaboration with Mbela Mambueni- who goes simply by Mbela- started following after we purchased one of his paintings at an exhibition in Kinshasa. He is the first artist with whom we started working.

Mbela is expressing his talents through strokes of acrylic to depict, arguably, the two most important actors on our planet Earth: humans and animals- or are they really two distinct actors? On one side, there are “human” faces, portrayed using a style that resembles a puzzle, a patchwork of colors.

The paintings are the beautiful, embellish versions of the thousands of faces that Mbela sees when walking around Kinshasa. Poverty and hardship have been taking a toll on people for so long so that, according to the artist, you can walk miles and miles and only see sad and distressed faces.

He sees his paintings as a form of therapy for himself, and for all those will come across his paintings. While the media, politicians, fake priests and other charlatans find a way to mastermind the negative, the bleak, the dark, Mbela sees his paintings taking the opposite view.

When he’s not painting faces, Mbela is bringing to life insects, bugs and other of our animal friends. Some of these paintings are a tedious, repetition of butterflies. The depiction of bugs, insects and butterflies is a representation of the theory that we are equal but in reality there is a very shortlist of those who have, and those who have not make the vast majority who is struggling to make it.

In this forest of insects, some will emerge and hold powerful positions, millions will stay in the middle of the pack. The most unfortunate won’t even make it to the middle of the pack, they will just die from bad luck. In the end who is human, who is animal?

Highlights

Part of a young generation of painters who live and work in Kinshasa, Mbela has participated in collective exhibitions in Kinshasa and Brazzaville. When he’s not painting faces, Mbela is bringing to life insects, bugs and other of our animal friends. Some of these paintings are a tedious, repetition of butterflies.