1- From Kalemie to Kinshasa.
Gaël Maski was born in 1990 in Kalemie (formerly Albertville), a town located 2,144 km east of the capital. He currently lives in the capital Kinshasa.
He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Kinshasa in 2014. It was then that he began a phase of reflection and research on his work, in order to find the expression that best reflected his intention.
2- From canvas to photography, including wood.
Until 2014, its medium was mainly canvas. He first adopts a new medium, used wood, in order to link his work more to real life in Kinshasa. He collects panels, for example those used by certain families for home schooling, on which he creates figurative and symbolic works with a surrealist tone, by mixing collages and painting.
From 2017, he decided to resort systematically to photography in order to better capture snapshots of the life of his characters and their environment.
3- His technical approach.
He is interested in the marginalized, the "voiceless". He particularly gets in touch with stone breakers in a Kinshasa neighborhood and offers them to carry their message through an artwork. He interviews them, photographs them, prints the photos on plain paper and cuts them out.
Then comes the stage of "re-creation": he recomposes the fragments of reality to create new scenes. The collage makes up the entire background of his works.
4 - His artistic approach.
He searches for and then presents superheroes who live in slums. It highlights these people who have to survive in the face of a complex and very difficult reality.
He considers that the dream is a remedy especially for people in a precarious situation. Reason for which, it creates an imaginary world starting from the realities which live these people.
Social issues are at the heart of his approach and constitute an important source of inspiration.
5 - His symbolic and imaginary universe.
He likes that an image can have multiple interpretations with multiple points of view. His work must allow viewers to escape into their own history ... Hence the importance of starting from photos, that is to say from reality, which he enriches with symbols and allegories.
"In Kinshasa life, a lot of people, including me, need to escape to a fantasy world in order to survive..."
Click HERE to find all the articles on Democratic Republic of Congo.
Discover more artists and countries in the section: