Emblematic figure of the new Congolese painting, the artist heroine of “System K“, Geraldine Tobé is known for her black smoke paintings.

GeraIdine TOBE
Ascension,
2012 (Kinshasa)
Smoke, acrylic and stencil,
100 x 80 cm
© https://pointcontemporain.com/

Putting art at the service of medicine, she became famous thanks to her revolutionary method of treating psychological pathologies, using painting and drawing. Through her project entitled « Mental Handicap», the contemporary artist uses the potential of artistic expression and creativity of the mentally ill for psycho-therapeutic purposes in order to accelerate their recovery. Convinced that there are values in every human being, Géraldine Tobé has taken on this mission to pay tribute to her older brother who, despite his mental handicap, introduced him to the practice of art.

Géraldine Tobé
Géraldine Tobé

Very close to the population, she participates in performances in the streets of Kinshasa, to raise awareness and awaken consciousness. Instead of brushes and colors, she uses fire and the smoke of an old oil lamp as mediums for the creation of her works.

Why smoke? The smoke is used in her works to bring out her anxieties and pains but also the injustices done to women in African and Western societies. For this contemporary artist, women embody “strength, energy and mystery”.

Conscious of being an idiom between the immaterial and physical worlds, Géraldine Tobé is more attuned to and inspired by the spirits that we do not perceive. She ensures a transition between the visible and invisible worlds and also remains an intercessor between shadow and light.

In an autobiographical approach, she communicates her emotions, fears, joys, sorrows, pains and positions to the public and also addresses a new conception of death and acceptance of the other.


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