Cristiano Mangovo

Biography
CRISTIANO MANGOVO BRÁS WAS BORN IN 1982 IN ANGOLA AND NOW LIVES IN LISBON.

As a child he immigrated to Democratic Republic of Congo, living there as a refugee, finding his vocation and graduating from Beaux-Arts in Kinshasa. His first individual exhibition was held in 2013 at the Art and Culture Foundation in Luanda. In 2014, he won the Mirella Antognoli Argela award from the Italian Embassy and the Ensa-Art prize from AllianceFrançaise in Luanda which led him to participate to an artist-in-residence program at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris. He exhibited at the Angolan Pavilion at Expo Milano 2015. Since, he tookpart in numerous group and solo shows internationally (Portugal, France, Italy, South Africa, DRC, USA,...).

Cristiano Mangovo’s work is a fountain of social and political commentary. The imagery overwhelms with information and stimulation – colour, figuration, distortion, multiple messages conveyed at the same pitch.A cacophony from which images jump out to bite you at intervals, only to be overtaken by other images.

His paintings hold up a mirror to today’s society and its individuals, oversaturated with information, stimulation, distraction and the relentless pace of the 24-hour news cycle.

But if one pauses to focus, each work also presents human tragedy. Mangovo’s sensitivity to the idea of distorted realities and cost of war and displacement takes root in his personal history. As a child during the Angolan civil war, his father sent him away to safety to DRC, where he lived as a refugee for many years, finding his vocation as an artist and graduating from Académie des Beaux- Art in Kinshasa.His international career has given him the opportunity to assess the truthfulness of the many myths about Europe, which populated the colonial narratives and contemporary media. In these narratives, Europe is always a gleaming ideal of superiority, wealth and progress compared to Africa. When travelling there, he could observed poverty and racism and realised myths are just that. These findings led him to develop alternative narratives where he mixes humour, hope and aspiration with the shadow of human suffering.

He paints with flair ; his brush strokes, figurations and use of colour reveal his personal experience but also the study of those who came before him. By paying homage to both the European masters, as well as those who taught him – in Kinshasa, he shapes his own distinctive trait that distinguishes his style. One of the most interesting and exciting things about Mangovo’s work today is the fact that they are infused with anticipation of change, a dynamic pace and instability which makes any future possible.
Works
Exhibitions
Art Fairs