Jack Kabangu

 “I work without rules. I physicalize memories, dreams, music, etc… My mission is to find a balance between the ugly and the beautiful, the light and the dark. To create an energy that speaks to me. When I have captured this energy, I feel that the work is finished. But a work is never until it has found its final surroundings.”

There is something of an instinctual, primal urgency to the works of Zambian-born Jack Kabangu (b. 1996). These hovering, face-like forms, demarcated with broad and frenetic mark-making and bright colours, seem to comment as much on African tribal masks of his youth (Kabangu moved to Copenhagen at the age of nine), as they seem to subvert the derogatory ‘Jim Crow’ caricature of the 19th century, or the latter era Golliwog stereotype: with the large red lips and twisted skeins of zig-zagging hair that stem from Kabangu’s abstracted faces. But there is a kind of confident repositioning of Kabangu’s reductive form – these nondescript orange eyes, these purple lips – as inherently empowering for the young artist. A quick Google search reveals the artist himself standing amid his creations, and this figure seems a confident sentinel of African identity. It is like a signal, one where the viewer is responsible for (re)configuring its meaning, (as opposed to being told what to think), the responsibility to remove these referents from a prejudicial and pejorative historicity into a newly empowered arena, where a young black man can create a new, metaphoric, exciting, colourful mode of relaying the burdens of the past and the promise of a new future with a wry and empathetic sensibility, as well as the deft skill and confidence of a new young master.

JACK KABANGU (b. 1996, Zambia, Africa) lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark. Forthcoming solo exhibitions to be held at: Galleri Christoffer Egelund, Copenhagen, Denmark (2023); Luis De Jesus, Los Angeles, USA (2023); The Cabin LA, Los Angeles, USA (2023) and; The Anzai Gallery, Tokyo, Japan (2023). Previous solo exhibitions include: My Beautiful Ugly Home, Galleri Christoffer Egelund, Copenhagen, Denmark (2022); borgerkrigen (The Civil War), OTI, Hong Kong (2022) and; Aston Martin Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark (2021). Group exhibitions have been held at: Galleri Christoffer Egelund, Copenhagen, Denmark (2022) and; Maddox Gallery, London, UK (2022). Fairs include: Herning Art Fair with Galerie Moderne Silkeborg, Herning, Denmark (2023) and; Art Fair Tokyo with The Anzai Gallery, Tokyo, Japan (2023).

We are excited for Kabangu’s London debut solo exhibition with us scheduled for the spring of 2024.

Participating Exhibitions

Participating Fairs