Jean David Nkot Is Mapping Out Complexities On Peoples Faces At Afikaris

June 14, 2021
Written By:
Written By:
June 14, 2021

Jean David Nkot is an artist born and based in Douala, Cameroon. Since the 29th of May, his collection HUMAN@CONDITION is on view until June 7th at Afikaris.

Afikaris is a Paris-based gallery which showcases the work of both established, and emerging artists from Africa and African diaspora. Their vision is to become a reference gallery for these artists.

Created in 2018 by Florian Azzopardi, Afrikaris promotes emerging artists whose life and work has been influenced by Africa. The objective of the gallery is to gather all these amazing talents and their respective visions, and create a community of artists. Here, the established artists and the emerging ones can both learn from one another.

Source: Celebrity News

Throughout the years, Nkot has created quite the resume for himself. Having done his A-levels at Institute of Artistic Training of Mbalmayo (IFA), getting a degree in drawing/painting at the Institute of Fine Arts Foumban and finally joining the Post Master Moving Frontiers organized by the National School of Arts of Paris-Cergy (France), where he received awards such as best sculptor, installer and painter.

He’s made a name for himself now as a painter of the human condition. Bodies and territories are what structure his artistic approach, which leads to submerging faces with inscriptions. He highlights the expression of turmoil inhabiting them in the manner of Zhang Dali, Francis Bacon, and Jenny Saville.

However, in this particular collection, HUMAN@CONDITION, Jean David puts the focus on the African states’ dependence on wealth, and especially on the power that European countries have over it from neo-colonization. Throughout the pieces he traces the exploitation of resources, like the extraction of minerals in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. What he also showcases in his work, is the strength and sense of ownership of the workers’ life, highlighting their resilience.

Source: Metal Mag

Source: Metal Mag

Source: Metal Mag

When looking at the paintings, what catches our eye here at TNC are the ‘molecule maps’. This is where he superimposes maps from their surroundings and keywords onto the human subjects. This technique, which was inspired by Thomas Hirschhorn, fills the pieces with a sense of complexity and depth that simply put, has us enthralled.

“Like him, I circle keywords and link them together. I call them ‘maps molécules’ because their structure reminds me of molecules and atoms. By creating a network of data, with information gravitating around a central word, I want to show that they are all connected, that no simple notion stands alone, and that one seemingly straightforward issue can pave the way for a broader debate. At first sight, this mass of information can seem incoherent, senseless – only to reveal the hidden complexity that lies behind it.”

If you’re in Paris, definitely go check it out before its too late!

Subscribe to stay informed of everything in our world
“How did you two meet?” A commonly asked question couples face in contemporary social environments. While our parents have likely met through mutual connections, a significant share of modern love stories start with a digital Cupid in the shape of […]