Untitled Portrait
Untitled Portrait
Untitled Portrait
Ardhy Massamba studied under the Congolese master Anicet Magrégos Malonga and joined the "Nkazi Mavambou" art studio in his early teens in order to support his family following the departure of his father. Here he learnt the art of drawing and portraiture and perfected his own technique of creating works with sand pigmented by the artist.

Massamba will be having his first one man show with Ed Cross Fine Art at Ozwald Boateng, London in June 2015.

Ardhy Massamba is a nineteen year old artist from Congo Brazzavile who has been working as a professional artist since his early teens. Portraiture is a crucial part of the African visual art canon. Often conducted through the medium of photography, it’s potency is connected to the denial of opportunities for photography in colonial times and its irrepressible flowering since the 1960’s; giving citizens the opportunity to negotiate both real and imagined identities. Painted portraiture is often produced in a naïve style and it is rare to find works of the sort of representational quality that the young Ardhy Massamba produces. His paintings, themselves produced from photographs, beg the question of who took the images and why do the subjects wish to be represented the way they are. We see emotions of regret and disappointment as well as joy – there is an absence of neutrality – no attempt to conceal emotions behind an obfuscating “mask” which is partly why Massamba’s portraits are so fresh and engaging.

Massamba works with a combination of sand and pigment to create compelling portraits of his fellow “Brazzavillians”.