Gloire À Dieu Babanzanga lives and works in Kinshasa. Visual artist and son of feu Bababanzako Benoit, one of the first of the generation of artists from the Beaux-Arts Academy of Kinshasa. He was born in 1988 in Kinshasa, and did all of his studies at the Beaux-Arts Academy of Kinshasa as his father did. He received his state diploma (baccalaureat) in Fine Arts and Painting in 2006, his undergraduate degree in Painting in 2009, then his postgraduate degree in Painting in 2011.

 

The colours and patterns appearing in Babanzanga’s art pay tribute to the visual heritage of the Kongo, Luba, Pende and Kuba tribes from Congo, as well as the Maasai people of Kenya and Tanzania. From these ancestral references, he draws new patterns that the viewers are free to interpret in their own way, especially through his reinterpretation of facial scarification, a traditional symbol of tribal affiliation across several ethnicities on the continent. His focus on the face derives from the existential notion that sees the face and the gaze as windows to the individual’s inner beauty. It is again beauty that he seeks when using essentially children and young girl’s faces, in his eyes symbols of love and rebirth.