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date: 15 December 2019

Belalocked

(b Fort Archambault c. 1917; d Brazzaville, c. 1968).
  • Jean-Pierre Ibio

Extract

(b Fort Archambault c. 1917; d Brazzaville, c. 1968).

Chad painter, active in the Republic of Congo. He worked as a cook and caretaker for Pierre Romain-Desfossés in Chad, and followed him when he moved near Brazzaville in the mid-1940s. There he spent the mornings cooking and began to paint in the afternoons at the studio founded by Romain-Desfossés. He painted with his fingers, not a paintbrush, though at the end of his life he experimented with brushes. Using his fingers gave the images a highly textured feel and impressionistic look, as seen in Oiseaux blancs (1955; Tervuren, Kon. Mus. Mid-Afrika). He depicted all variety of life: human events, aquatic scenes and animals, often in hunting scenes. Initiations and lively nocturnal dances were among his most frequent subjects, the power and mystery of them emphasized by his masterful sense of colour. His palette is bright, and primary colours predominate; his figures are usually in profile, and surfaces are normally filled....

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