When Boris Anje received international acclaim for his 2020 solo show, Black Is Beautiful at Barcelona’s OOA Gallery, many gravitated to the Afro-Punk aesthetics and clothing worn by his characters. There was a sense of pop-culture appreciation from the Douala, Cameroon-based painter, but the style, backdrops and details were entirely his own. Even the fabric colors seemed to signify a complete new type of fashion and style, which Anje has documented from a new generation of Congolese dandies, the Society of Ambianceurs and Elegant People (SAPE) who have taken ownership of colonial oppression into a uniform of their own. 

But Anje has found something more contemporary in his adaptation of street culture. For his upcoming solo show at Thinkspace Projects in Los Angeles, Black Is the Color of Gold, we perceive a pivotal, landmark moment for the artist. As the shifting dynamics and influence of a new generation of African painters continue to shine, these paintings appear perfectly at ease within the backdrop of movie sets and elaborations of identity in depth that stands out. The history of the African continent and a subculture exploration remind us of how many stories are yet to be told, and a talent like Boris Anje is the voice to shine a light on all of them. “I want to give value to the Black body,” Anjel told Thinkspace from his studio in the coastal city of Douala. “I’m trying to give some kind of attention, some kind of attraction, to the person of color.” —Evan Pricco