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Abstract Expressionists We Love: Bouvy Enkobo

on November 27, 2023

Bouvy Enkobo
Kinshasa, DRC

Emotional and Intense.

Bouvy Enkobo is an expressive artist born in 1981 in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He found his creative voice amidst the bustling streets of African cities, where chaos and vibrant colors coexist. Honestly, I find it a bit hard to locate his art in any singular movement, which is fun and interesting, but if cornered, perhaps it can be considered a mix of Neo-Expressionism and Abstract Expressionism.

contemporary abstract artist bouvy enkobo

After studying at the Institute des Beaux-arts de Kinshasa, Bouvy's journey took a solitary path as part of the pioneering "new wave" generation of African artists. His art, a fusion of painting, collage, photography, and video, reflects the energy of urban life and the complexities and struggles of the human condition.

While his work represents an emotional landscape at the heart of his country's difficult contemporary history, I feel that it shouldn't be pigeon-holed as only speaking to life in Central/Southern Africa. Rather, Bouvy's paintings have a universal urban resonance.

contemporary abstract artist bouvy enkobo

His complex, layered pieces offer fragmented impressions of urban life, which he achieves by weaving together geometric shapes and bold colors to depict the rhythm of daily life. Yet, beneath the surface, there is always a presence of the marginalized and forgottenindividuals lost in the tide of modernity.

contemporary abstract artist bouvy enkobo

'Zaire' by Bouvy Enkobo.

While I'm generally not a fan of collage, I do love Bouvy's collage techniques. His use of collage, along with his intuitive style somehow produce a powerful commentary of everyday modern life. Like I said, it's hard to classify his art—it challenges both artistic and societal norms. One of my favorite pieces is this one (above), called 'Zaire.' It's reminiscent of the (in)famous 1974 'Rumble in the Jungle'George Foreman vs. Muhammad Ali in Zaire (former name of DRC).

Check out Bouvy Enkobo's work on Instagram, which is where I first found him:


Pete Stein
Founder, Galerie Stein

Galerie Stein will be presenting several contemporary Abstract Expressionist artists both virtually at and in our gallery in Montreal in 2024.
Contact: Pete Stein at