CORPS DE P@GES: Jean David Nkot

“Jean-David Nkot is above all, at least for the moment, a painter. His work, even when it contains elements of abstraction, is essentially figurative, obsessed with the body and its representation. The black body, is it necessary to specify it. Or perhaps, after all, it is necessary to present it, because in this detail perhaps nestles a hidden truth: Nkot, since his first paintings, paints and depicts himself”.
– Excerpt from the exhibition text by Simon Njami
Jean David Nkot explores the plight of the ‘common man’ in his first solo to be presented in South Africa. The exhibition is accompanied by an exhibition text written by Simon Njami.
 
This powerful body of paintings navigates the exploitation of the populations of the developing world by those who come in search of wealth, possessions, and power.
 
The artist feels compelled to bring attention to how the body and nature are often the victims in our search for industrialisation and the belief in a purely capitalistic economic model.
 
Nkot aims to give a voice to the people who despite their enormous contribution and sacrifice of their own health and wealth remain in the shadows with little say in terms of their future and that of their families, communities, or country.
 
Vast fortunes are built on their sweat with little thought given to improving their plight as it is in this very poverty, lack of education and subjugation of thought and spirit that they are forced to continue to work for the wealthy and the powerful.
 
By presenting the figures in his work as contemporary icons, he invites us to reconsider their status, as important and valuable contributors to society and as such we should recognise that their opinions on the future should not be ignored, subjugated, or looked down upon.