Alain Polo – Photo

© photo, Alain Polo, serie 'Young boy in jacket', 2008
© photo, Alain Polo, serie 'Young boy in jacket', 2008

PHOTO - Visual Art


born in 1985 in Kinshasa, D.R.Congo



lives and works in Paris



Alain Polo is an artist who studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kinshasa. He was a member of a group called SADI (Artists Solidarity for Integral Development). Their collective work focuses on performance in popular districts of Kinshasa and the "village of erosion" of Mont Gafula whose houses are collapsing every big rain. They paint on insulated walls and houses on the verge of collapse. Photographs, performances, video creation are the main carriers of Alain Polo, do not hesitate to have fun with fashion.


Alain Polo first photographic series made in 2008-2009 (’Jeune Homme à la Veste’ 2008, ’Le Dormeur’ 2009, ’My Sweet Drawing’ 2009, ’Talon Aiguille’ 2009), are a work of self-portrait reveals an intimate moment of doubt about his identity. He will wait 2 years before daring to show these photographs and, somehow, accept his own reality, even if he loves his self image.


[run the slideshow below]

Framing photographs leave see body parts dislocated in the dark atmosphere of the room barely unveiled. Some ceremonial elements and everyday objects approach an imagined reality, often taking an imaginary world he saw in magazines.


Reflections in broken mirrors of its own upset picture open on other vertigo that Congolese society does not always understand.


He continues his work by transforming images of social networks where he seems to recognize itself. In a more recent work he puts in confrontation of right-thinking society objects with to his phantasms.


Under the appearance of a young calm and cheerful man, Alain Polo reveals a troubled soul he wants to release.



by Jean Loup Pivin




Exhibitions, performEnces


2010 exhibit  'Tozo kendé Wapi ? To Ko Kendé Wapi ?' (Où allons-nous ? Où irons-nous ? ), collective project 'Afropolis' at Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum, Cologne, Germany

2010 collective exhibit 'Sud-Paris'  at REVUE NOIRE, photographs, Paris, France

2010 art residency at Doual'Art, Douala Cameroon. Performences 'La coiffure qui nettoie' et 'Le dernier repas'

2010 collective exhibit 'Alienator on Tour' at Centre Culturel Français. Performence 'Robe Free Chiken', Kinshasa, D.R.Congo

2010 performance 'Couvre-Moi', during event 'The Brave New World' at Theater der Welt, Essen, Germany

2010 art residency during event 'The Brave New World' and performance 'Couvre-Moi', Guangzhou, Chine