Bodys Isek Kingelez, Ville Fantôme, 2010

Bodys Isek Kingelez (1948–2015)

Bodys Isek Kingelez, an artist from the Democratic Republic of Congo, has passed away, reports Le Monde’s Roxana Azimi.

After starting out working as a conservator of tribal masks, Kingelez was invited in 1989 to Paris to present his art in the seminal exhibition “Les Magiciens de la Terre” by curator André Magnin at the Contemporary African Art Collection of Jean Pigozzi.

Kingelez’s work later appeared in the 2002 Documenta organized by Okwui Enwezor, as well as the 2002 Sao Paulo Biennal. His 2010 solo show “Dreamlands,” at the Pompidou Center, Paris, featured his model city Ville Fantôme. He also staged solo exhibitions at venues including MAMCO in Geneva, Switzerland, and the Hamburg Kunstverein in Germany.

Magnin, who met the artist in 1987, later called him a “great visionary” who wanted to put his art in the service of the community.