Presented at “Black Liquid Artuntil September 3, 2022, the new creative scene in Cameroon offers in Italy, the exhibition “Cameroon: visions and convergences” with contemporary artists Franck Kemkeng Noah, Ferraul Fosso, Boris Gobina, Marc Padeu, Roberto Pare, Bidias Romaric, William Manga, William Tagne Njepe.

Bright tones, strict images, animated outlines, metropolitan conditions: these are the components that bring to life these eight artists of the exhibition, most of whom were born in the late 1990s, and who reveal the new artistic era in Cameroon.

Their image of the world, of art and of presence has exact forms; it is not static, even if it is powerful; their ideal is a coherent demand in their relations with culture and reality.

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The impact of art history, with what we could call the post litteram characteristic, is available in each of the artists chosen for the exhibition “Cameroon: visions and convergences“, in which we can observe the propensity to imagine painting as a record of past works, which, consumed and revamped by the internal soul of the artist, changed after some time and delivered new images of the known images; as a transformation that comes from the real enthusiasm of painting.

In “Cameroon: Visions and Convergences“, these artists propose and approach their way of life, their varieties, their way of living as contemporary Africans in various ways and with various qualities, but with a typical vision and unions that are found in the range of varieties and the thematic substrate, in which the knowledge of a social association is conceivable.

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In “Cameroon: visions and convergences“, if we start from the essential substance of Marc Padeu‘s work, the sacrosanct, it is not for this reason that his work can be qualified as strict. The images of Madonnas, holy people, or references to the testimony of Christ or the Annunciation, become a pretext for depicting the changes in humanity. Strict symbols are most often depicted in contemporary dress, and the implausible army of Renaissance works is Africanized in the textures of the robes and the skin tones of the figures. In antiquity, Marc Padeu finds an ideal humanity, the very type of presence that in the present is restricted and relative.

As for Ferraul Fosso, for “Cameroon: visions and convergences“, he finds his motivation in the old-fashioned creative practice, but in his work, unlike Marc Padeu, there is no emotional flow, his representation of consecration develops in a dramatic structure, his organization with the characters takes place in a wild and naturalistic setting, fixing the consideration of the one who looks with the reminiscent idea of the subject and the outer layer of things and space. Ferraul Fosso is an extroverted person, he loves old-fashioned gifts, but he seeks in the magnificence of nature the right juxtaposition of light and matter that envelops and breaks down the figures.

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In the group of Cameroonian figures that emphasize the art of the extraordinary experts of the past, we find Roberto Pare, who although emphatically disparate in elaborate construction, is similarly dedicated to exploration and a deep correspondence shared with the evidence of visual and coloristic values.

Assuming that the work is brought into the world of feeling, in Roberto Pare this inner movement appears in the variety that spreads with strength and confidence in the eye of the observer.

Among those Cameroonian artists who study artistic work, we find Bidias Romaric, who reappropriates the strokes of the late twentieth century by recovering the most authentic examples of the canvas of great artists such as Van Gogh, Keith Haring and Andy Warhol, with the end result of appropriating their pictorial emotivity.

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Bidias Romaric contextualizes the famous works of the extraordinary contemporary patrons in terms of time and, as far as he can tell, the characters are children of the road trapped in their daily practice, but the works he incorporates as foundations, he does not reconsider them, but consolidates them in their rightness.

Point of view is the word that sums up Franz Kemkeng Noah‘s work that he shares in the exhibition “Cameroon: Visions and Convergences“. At the heart of his creation are perspectives on structural scenes and landmarks. Spatial developments are painted as an underlying skeleton with a slight dark line, a straight shroud that proposes the depth of the piece with acute delicacy. His strategy is extremely controlled: straight lines with almost no thickness, at first it seems like a computerized impact, but the realistic reduction that reduces the picturesque spatiality to a few lines makes the impact of the view significantly more persuasive.

If, in the global creative mind, Africa has in the enduring child its presumption, William Tagne Njepe does not go against this thought, yet in his work this idea is completely characterized. The stories William Tagne Njepe tells are not sad, they do not show sensational scenes of real savagery, but the endurance is formalized in the psyche of the viewer. The artist for “Cameroon: Visions and Convergences” takes a subject, centers a focus of composition, a core of activity; through a scratching of variety, he brings the adult figures out of the limelight, into the distance; with the reverse coloristic process, he presents the child.

The theme of the experience of growing up is also present in Boris Gobina, whose work is one where the impact of different artists is evident, the base quickly standing out, suggestive of the art of the Ivorian Aboudia, who was thus invigorated by the incomparable African-American craftsman Basquiat. The role of spray paint in the improvement of African artists of this time is extremely clear. After separating the regional lines, the art reduces its distances and the revaluation of the images taken on the canvas, mixed with the daily existence, approaches the ideal union of their poetics.

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If in Njebe and Gobina the youth is the element that attracts attention, in William Manga the predominant theme of his work is the pause, there is no activity, there is no development; the movements are stifled, obstructed, granitic. The glances of the characters dazzled on the matter are pensive, they see with an inquisitive air, as if they were seized by a foreign look which penetrates in their nearest and most individual climate. In any case, the pictorial line decides the development and makes the space, and makes see different images, close or far, comparable and disparate. What he shares with us for “Cameroon: visions and convergences“. 

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