Aimé Mpane – N O M A D Gallery, Brussels
Born 1968 in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Congolese painter Aimé Mpane and Brussels art gallery N O M A D are at the forefront of Belgium’s burgeoning African art scene.
Aimé Mpane’s work is charged with history and emotions and touches us at different levels. Mpane enters the psyche and emotional locus of the people and, more broadly, it enables the artist to narrate the history of an entire place.The artist plays with the tactility of each material, following its nature and highlighting its expressive potential. The resulting portraits are acute psychological investigations. The spontaneity of the brushstrokes recalls the lively style of hand-painted signage associated with stereotyped imagery of African villages. The wood panels are often burnt, broken or perforated and the color adjusts accordingly.
"There are lots of things I don’t understand anymore about Congo. Going back is not an option for me. Living in Brussels enriches me. I get more out of it than those who were born here, because I have a view from a distance. I have two backgrounds, two cultures to draw from. I see the stereotypes in both cultures, with a sociologist’s view. I process these insights in my work. So today, I don’t see my work as either African or European. I am a sponge, which absorbs and whatever I absorb comes out in some form or other."