Ajarb Bernard Ategwa

AJARB BERNARD ATEGWA WAS BORN IN KUMBA IN 1988. HE LIVES AND WORK IN DOUALA, CAMEROON.

He was marked by his parents’ firm refusal to accept his interest in drawing and painting. More than a distraction, art was an obsession for the young Ajarb. After four months of hard work in a carpentry shop, he decided to pursue his passion.

In 2001, he goes to the economic capital where he lives up to now: a saving move away from all the family pressure. That departure will cost him a long-term relationship with Douala, an inexhaustible source of inspiration.

From snapshots of everyday life, the artist draws his inspiration from public spaces of Douala. His unique use of vibrant colors is used to recall African black and white studio photgraphy from the post independence era.

Whilst he feeds his pictorial language from daily life scenes focusing mainly on the market of the Cameroonian capital, his new series Kwata Saloon, pays tribute to the ephemeral hair salons popping up each year in Cameroon between November and December. While he draws his eye to the pampered women, he underlines the generational and intergender ties cultivated by this local practice. Setting his easel in the beauty parlors, Ategwa bears witness to a temporary period, during which wellbeing and sharing are a central part of social life.

The bright colours spurting under Ategwa’s brushes pay tribute to the pop aesthetic, mirroring the heat and bustle of Douala.

More

SOLO EXHIBITIONS (SELECTED)


2021
Kwata Saloon, AFIKARIS Gallery, Paris, France
Sweet Flowers of Douala
Fredric Snitzer Gallery, Miami, US
Afro Sister
, Jack Bell, London, UK

2020
Studio Ekwe’s, Peres projects, Berlin, Germany
Bread and Jazz, Jack Bell, London, UK
The Hard Way, The Only Way, Espace doual’art, Douala, Cameroon

2019
Hot spot, Jack Gallery, London, UK
Armory Show, Jack Bell Gallery, New York, US
ALAC (Art Los Angeles Contemporary), Peres Projetcs, Los Angeles, US

2018
Kwasa Kwasa Girls, Jack Bell Gallery, London, UK
The New Dialogue, Peres Projects, Berlin, Germany

2017
Princesses de Nuit, Jack Bell Gallery, London, UK

2016
24 Hours Busy, Jack Bell Gallery, London, UK


GROUP EXHIBITIONS (SELECTED)

2020
Are you familiar with our concept?, CF Hill, Stockholm, Sweden

2019
Aujourd’hui, World Bank Exhibition, curated by Simon Njami, National Museum, Yaounde, Cameroon

2018
Duo show AIKE Gallery Shanghai, Shanghai, China

2016
Cameroun, une vision contemporaine, World Bank Exhibition, Yaoundé, Cameroon
PRESENCE, SCB, Douala , Cameroon

2015
Présences, SCB Bank, Douala, Cameroon
Bastille Day, French Consulate, Douala, Cameroon
Jeunes Regards Urbains II, Espace doual’art, Douala, Cameroon


 

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