Boris Nzebo is a self described ‘pop artist’ from Douala, Cameroon. Nzebo begun painting shop signs with his brothers, he soon emerged as a well known African contemporary artist. His artwork is largely influenced by women’s hairstyles painting detailed collage that portray daily social and political life in West Africa.
While at times kitsch, his works are instantly recognizable – simultaneously personal and universal – and speak a language familiar to Douala’s inhabitants. Nzebo’s stylized execution owes a lot to painted haircut signs found outside Cameroon’s barber shops. Appropriating the language of advertising he creates portraits taken from detailed studies of traditional African hairstyles, often elaborate, and combines them with informal snapshots of local neighbourhoods, urban architecture and scenes from daily life. – Jack Bell Gallery
Douala, the largest city of Cameroon, embodies a kaleidoscopic visual fabric where a vast repertoire of contemporary trends alternates with historical buildings, traditional and modern dress codes, graffiti and advertising. The organic nature of such layering, its unpredictability and resilience are at the very root of Boris Nzebo’s images, which mirror the city’s inhabitants’ horror vacui as they attempt to fill every available space with extraordinary intensity.