Essamba Art – Discover the world through the eyes of Angèle Etoundi Essamba


Renaissance draws its inspiration from collars, lace, and fans; their powerful visual imagery and aesthetics fascinate me as much as their symbolism questions. Symbols of luxury, elegance, and refinement, but also symbols of power, which refer to the sophisticated world of the Dutch seventeenth- century “the golden age”.

Through the prism of the Dutch golden age, Renaissance explores the representation of the black figure, a central theme in my photography.
In the seventeenth- century in Holland, “the clothes make the man”. The identity of the individual is not to be sought in his interiority but is defined by his appearance which is primary marked by clothing and adornment.
Renaissance questions this ornamental hierarchy of clothing and reinterprets these symbols in a subtle game of subversion of dress codes. Here, the collar appears in many variations: white or colored, plain or printed with patterns. Diverted from its initial destination: the neck, it becomes an autonomous element, worn freely to open up to new interpretations.

The models claim collars, lace, and fans, through majestic poses that belong to themselves, and show these attributes are accessible to everyone are no longer reserved for an elite.
The black figure comes out of anonymity, out of the background and occupy a central place, in the artwork. More than magnifying and exalting, Renaissance celebrates the human being, captured, in its singularity and universality. The woman is reborn and imposes herself with grace.

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