Sculpteur de la Vie

Congolese sculptor Freddy Tsimba presents his first solo exhibition in Britain. 

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A bullet can represent many things. Conflict, death, pain. Sculptor Freddy Tsimba, has an entirely different vision.

Showcasing modern, powerful and thought-provoking sculptures crafted by war materials, this African artist uses his talent of expression to expose the tragedies of war and bring life out of death. 

Tsimba is renowned to the world of art as ‘Sculpteur de la vie’, which directly translates to ‘Sculptor of Life’ from French. Born in the capital of Congo, Kinshasa, Tsimba’s powerful outlook won him a place to study at the prestigious Beaux-Arts de Kinshasa. 

“My real school, even though I studied at the Beaux-Arts de Kinshasa, is in the streets where I lose myself entirely,” said Tsimba, “my teachers were the blacksmiths who taught me the art of fire and welding.” 

Freddy Tsimba’s artistic statement is not solely reflected by his craft of work, but the materials he uses. Combining materials found from his home in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tsimba uses bullet casings, machetes, bottle-tops, spoons, and keys to bring his vision to life. 

“Tsimba’s sculptures are a mute but powerful testimony to the destruction and corruption of armed conflict, not just in Africa but throughout the world” says Eric Turner, Curator, Department of sculpture Victoria and Albert Museum. 

 

Freddy Tsimba sculptures have been exhibited all over the world, including Europe, the United States and Canada. At the forefront of emerging Congolese artists who are using their influential creations to bring light to Africa’s political challenges, we’re certain that this is just the beginning of his flourishing journey as an artist with a global vision.   

“The artist reminds us that history of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is a distressing one. With its mineral wealth alone, the DRC should be one of the richest countries in Africa. Instead, it is one of the poorest,” says Turner, “Instability, a lack of infrastructure, corruption and a history of colonial and corporate exploitation has left the nation prone to successive international and civil warfare.” 

From Thursday 19th of April until Saturday 19th of May 2018, The Beaux Arts London on Maddox is proud to present Out of Chaosan exhibition of the Congolese artistBeaux Arts London has a 35-year history of showing prominent British sculptors including Lynn Chadwick, Henry Moore, Elisabeth Frink, Barbara Hepworth and Paul Mount. However, with the Democratic of Congo’s contemporary art scene flourishing, this is the first time that Beaux Arts London has put on display the work of an African artist.