Boris Nzebo Port-Gentil, Gabon, b. 1979


Boris Nzebo makes paintings that draw on the surroundings of his home town Douala, Cameroon's largest city. He uses a strong colour palette that evokes the murals and graffiti of street culture found throughout Douala's suburbs. 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.


His work has been exhibited at Saatchi Gallery, London, and the Manchester Art Gallery, UK.