Born in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, Massamba was confronted early-on with the civil war that tore his country apart. The artist explores a universe of violence, chaos and pain, deep traces of which can still be witnessed today. Massamba does not paint, but burns, cuts and embroiders huge canvases or linen to create images that bear witness to the collective trauma experienced during the war. Massamba’s stark depictions of armed soldiers atop a mountain of skeletons and the recurring skull motif express a will to tame the forces of evil and his desire to transcend the horror and trauma through his artistic practice.
Gastineau Massamba was born in 1973 in Poto-Poto, Brazzaville, Republic of Congo and cur-rently works and resides in both his home country and France. Currently he is exploring textile and mark-making through cuts, sutres and threads to speak of wounding, healing and the rami-fications of physical damage. Massamba’s work has been widely exhibited in Republic of Congo, Brazil, France, Morocco, Senegal and Spain.