The first solo exhibition of #AntonioObá at Mendes Wood DM Brussels. The show is composed of new works on canvas and on paper, all made between 2020 and 2021.⠀⠀⠀⠀

While Obá’s work on canvas is visually alluring in color and subject matter, each composition carries with it a rich tapestry of allegory, metaphor, and historical reference that begs to be deciphered. Obá’s compositions draw on a vast pantheon of sources, from personal family photographs and archival images of historical events to popular culture, myth, and legend. He succeeds in cross-pollinating a wealth of symbolism drawn from the Western Judeo-Christian religious tradition with mystical elements of the syncretic religious systems that developed in Brazil and South America, a result of the influx of large numbers of African enslaved people who were trafficked there by the colonial powers. ⠀

These African diasporic religions, such as Candomblé, Voudou, and Santeria, blend the Christian imagery of the colonizers with the African religious practices brought across the ocean to the New World.⠀

Unexpected associations such as these constitute a way for Obá to address topics such as racial politics, political corruption, colonialism, and slavery, as well as questions of belonging, religion, and spirituality.⠀

Date: April 22 — June 62021