There’s a Congolese artist, known to some as “Papa Machete”, who produces some thought-provoking and somewhat disturbing sculptures.
Freddy Tsimba was born in Kinshasa in 1967 and studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in his home city, graduating in 1989 in Monumental Sculpture. His work is undeniably and unashamedly influenced by the brutal conflicts that have affected Congo’s recent past.
He explains on his website that he attempts to translate the expressions of people in his work and that is why “suffering is so present”. Most of his works are made from articles of war found abandoned around him. One of his more controversial works, at least in his home town, is a house made from 999 machetes – hence his nickname.
The sculpture featured above is to be found in a quiet street in Brussels. Stumbling upon it as I wandered around town in search of Art Deco buildings, it took me a while to take in this portrayal of suffering. I didn’t realise at first that it was made of old bullet casings, nor did I notice that the child’s foot is missing.
The photo above has been edited to reduce the number of colours present (using the posterise option on Picasa) to blur out the background somewhat. It was hard to capture a good image of the sculpture because of the busy background. The original and another two edits are shown below.
Linked to Sonel’s Photo Editing Challenge.