Jimi Kabela



Artist Statement

Born in Congo, Africa and growing up in Texas, I am a byproduct of both African and American cultures. Navigating the complex societal cues about “how to belong” continues to fuel my life and artistic journey. I use the leftover scraps of traditional African textiles within my paintings to express my Congolese and African roots. The exuberant, daring and colorful patterns worn by the men and women of the Congo are reminders of my ancestors, language, and origins. At the same-time, my exploration of abstract painting, balancing geometry with painterly textures are informed by my American experience. In my work, I depict the positive rhythms and energies of both African and American cultural influences Painting is a means of catharsis for me. When I’m in the making state, I try not to think. Muting out the chaos of the outside world, I search for peace within. A spiritual conversation starts to take place in the creative process. In this exchange of giving and taking from the painting and the collage surfaces, I find myself and my place in this world.

Conduit Gallery Exhibitions