M’Pambu Bodo Bodo was born in Kinshasa in 1974. As Moke Fils, he has chosen to stress his filiation with his renowned father, Pierre Bodo (1953-2015), by taking pseudonym Bodo Fils (Son of Bodo). This prolific artist is not only a painter, but also a notorious musician, composer, and writer.
In his pictorial work, Bodo Fils engage a creative process based on the combination of surrealist and realist influences. He is mostly known for the various and full-length portraits of the Society of Ambiance-Makers and Elegant People members. "La SAPE" movement, created in the 1960s, has been resurrected by those contemporary dandies as a response to the military conflict damaging Congo over the decades.
Bodo's allegorical portraits bring to light aspirations of the Congolese youth. Despite their expensive attire, "Sapeurs" are not rich men but, ordinary and hardworking individuals personifying their own idea of beauty, extravagance, and a unique form of pride. Bodo Fils creates hybrid beings whose personal gaze specific to each character is associated with an animal’s head. In this way, the artist reinforces the individual value of each "Sapeur", reflecting back to a clan or ancestral land whose totem it thus embodies.
Bodo Fils is constantly playing with the balance between western attributes of success and the emblematic use of animals in African society as a patriotic form. Inspired by Jean Depara (1928-1997) portrait photography, Bodo’s "Sapeurs" are presented from the head to the toes. In this format, visions and dreams inhabited by the African imagination are fully covered with ancestral myths, both animist and evangelical. Moreover, Bodo’s Fils portraits are linked directly to his father's hybrid figures, seen today as the manifestos for political liberation and universal wisdom.
In 2005, Bodo Fils achieved international recognition by entering into Jean Pogozzi’s Collection. Since then, he participated in many exhibitions all across Europe and Africa, among which Congo paintings. Une autre vision du monde. [Congo Paintings. Another Vision of the World.] is the latest.
Selected Solo & Group Exhibitions
Congo Paintings, Vichy (France), Musée des Arts d’Afrique et d’Asie, 4th May - 31st October 2019.
Winter Group Show, Barcelona (Spain), Out of Africa Gallery.
Kinshasa Chroniques [Kinshasa Reviews], Sète (France), Musée International des Arts Modestes - MIAM, 23rd October 2018 - 10th March 2019.
Visionaries. Art by Moke Fils | Bodo Fils | Shula | Landry. Hong Kong, AfricArt Gallery Hong Kong, 24th November 2018 - 31st January 2019
Congo paintings. Une autre vision du monde. [Congo Paintings. Another Vision of the World.], Namur (Belgium), Musée Africain de Namur, 23rd February - 27th May 2018.
Eclectica. D’Afrique et d’ailleurs. Itineraries pluriels. [Eclectica. From Africa and Elsewhere. Plural itineraries.], Paris (France), La Galerie Africaine / Cloître des Billettes, 2nd - 15th February 2018.
Dandy & Sapeurs d’Afrique [Dandy & Sapeurs from Africa], Paris (France), La Galerie Africaine / Mu Gallery, 4th - 30th January 2018.
Extravagance, Barcelona (Spain), Out of Africa Gallery, 2018.
Mémoire d’Afrique, Terre de Vie [Memory of Africa, Land of Life], Tonnerre (France), Hôtel Culturel Coeurderoy, 11th October - 13th November 2017. Solo show.
Bodo Fils ou les délices de l’art contemporain congolais [Bodo Fils and the Delights of Congolese Contemporary Art], Porrentruy (Switzerland), Faubourg Gallery, 25th August - 10th September 2017. Solo show.
Kongo am Rhein – Festival for contemporary Art from Congo, Basel (Switzerland), 11th June - 2nd July 2017.
Chroniques d'Afrique centrale : héritage et filiations [Chronicles of Central Africa: heritage and filiations], Nantes (France), Espace Cosmopolis, 9th - 31st December 2016.
African Art Fair Paris, Paris, Galerie Joseph Turenne, 20th -22nd October 2016.
Destinées - L’Expédition [Destinies - The Expedition] - Châteauvillain (France), 19th June - 11th September 2016.
Les Bodos [The Bodos], Brussels (Belgium), Inzia Gallery, 19th May - 10th September 2016.
Monde à l’envers [Upside-down World], Nevers (France), Pac des Ouches / ARKO Gallery, 30th April - 26th June 2016. Solo show.
Peintres du Congo d’aujourd’hui [Painters of Today’s Congo], Gray (France), Baron-Martin Museum, 23rd February - 21st April 2013.
Les Bodos [The Bodos], Gray (France), Château Autrey, 12th April 2013.
Bodo Père et Fils, copie ou continuité [Bodo Father and Son, copy or continuity], Kinshasa (DRC), Gombe Hall, January 2010.
Emerging Art from Kinshasa, London (UK), Jack Bell Gallery, 7th October - 6th November 2010.
Yambi - Cellular Congo, Brussels (Belgium), La Vénerie, September - October 2007.
Regard sur 15 ans de transition [A Look on 15 Years of Transition], Kinshasa (DRC), Memling Hotel, 2005.