Shaka (b. 1975) focuses on portraiture and figures in movement to reveal the emotional workings behind the façade of everyday human interactions. His figures twist and turn in an energetic color palette, the movement of their bodies representing the struggle for individuality in social power politics. Heightening the internal conflicts of each figure, the paintings feature bas-relief details that pop out from the two-dimensional plane, underscoring the sense of escape and emancipation.
Shaka has been practicing his unique method of sculpting right on the canvas since 2007 in the heart of Paris’s burgeoning contemporary art scene. He mixes technical elements and classical influences with new-age styles like tattoo design and graffiti culture. Shaka’s wide net of inspiration allows him to infuse his work with a commanding presence. Besides the large-scale format that is emblematic of his style, his work is known for a pulsating menagerie of polygons, lines, and angles infused with radiating colors. These elements reflect the inner conflicts of each of Shaka’s subjects who are searching, presumably like us, for individuality, while simultaneously living within communities organized by social norms.
Most recently, in striving to conquer the greatest possibility for depth and volume, Shaka has expanded his media and created a large-scale site-specific mural on an apartment building in Melun, France. Here Shaka manipulates the space in order to give the figures more extension; their arms and legs emerge out of the building’s windows. The project underscores Shaka’s mastery of multi-dimensions.
Shaka graduated with a BFA in Fine Art from the Sorbonne, where he graduated with a Masters in Multimedia Arts as well. Shaka’s work is featured in private collections in France, UK, Switzerland, Germany, Hong Kong, New York, and Los Angeles. The show at gallery nine5 will be Shaka’s debut exhibit in North America.