Louise Kenga Mandumbwa
My paintings celebrate the beauty and tenacity of everyday people; they are intimate snapshots through which I explore ideas of individual identity and the human condition. I strive to humanize my subjects, people who all too often are represented as a sum of their tragedies and victimization by circumstance. Growing up in a developing nation, I often found myself in the company of resilient, driven personalities, whose qualities now inform the ways in which I present my portrait subjects. The works are rendered with a combination of oil and acrylic applied to gessoed wood panel. More recently, I have added plexiglass in front of the paintings, providing a reflective surface over an emotive work in which the viewer might recognize facets of themselves, regardless of their background, as an individual who dares to hope.