Thinkspace Projects is thrilled to present Boris Anje’s (aka Anjel) latest body of work and U.S. solo debut, ‘Black is the Color of Gold.’ Featuring an entirely new collection of his vivid neo-pop portraits of contemporary African dandies, this exhibition is wildly engaging.
By placing his subjects against contrasting heavily logoed backgrounds, Anje reveals their sartorial elegance and pride, while drawing attention to the pervasive influence of consumer culture. His work toes the line between societal issues including race, identity, and consumerism. Paying special attention to depicting compelling portraiture from different generations, Anje’s work creates an unspoken dialogue between the subject and viewer.
“In these paintings, I portray joys, fears, emotions, and happenings to situate the viewer in the same realm as my subjects, who are painted in logoed atmospheres of brilliant colours. These brands are repurposed as devices of pride, of protection, of projection, and in a way, a level of armor. They serve as a membrane between what the subjects feel and what they’re trying to project out into the world.”
Using the garment as a device of storytelling, Anje channels, first and foremost, pride from his subjects. The pop culture influence is undeniable, adding layers to the paintings beyond physical realism that pull viewers in.
A recent new addition to Anje’s work is his use of symbols from the Adinkra alphabet, which is a contemporary way of writing some of the languages spoken in Ghana and Ivory Coast, including Akan, Dagbani, Ewe and Ga. The Adinkra symbols are sometimes utilized in the logo designs of entrepreneurial brands, where the symbols are used to represent sayings, proverbs or concepts, such as wisdom, strength, unity, wealth, love and peace.
“I want to give value to the black body,” Anjel declared from his studio in the Cameroon coastal city of Douala. “I’m trying to give some kind of attention, some kind of attraction, to the person of color.”
‘Black is the Color of Gold’ opens November 13, 2021 with a reception from 6PM to 9PM. On view until December 4, 2021 at Thinkspace Projects.
About Boris Anje
Born in 1993 in Bamenda, Cameroon, Boris Anje Tabufor discovered art in early childhood. Immediately after his BAC in 2012, he took the entrance exam to the Foumban Institute of Fine Arts (IBAF). During his studies he attended the workshops of certain local artists and the contemporary art center Les Ateliers Sahm in Brazzaville where he met the sappers. In 2015, he obtained a professional license in drawing-painting from IBAF and then his Master’s degree in 2018. He is currently pursuing research and artistic production. Some of his works have found their home in major collections such as the permanent collection of the World Bank in Washington, GANDUR Foundation, and also in the personal collections of certain collectors all over the world. He lives and works in Douala.