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Mago’s artistic practice reflects on the impact of the commercial trade of goods on a regional and global scale. Born and raised in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the artist used to sell braided canvas bags to traders. Canvas bags are an integral part of everyday life in Congo, and are traditionally used to package coal, corn and other raw materials. These bags later became the core of his artistic practice.
Mago’s subjects are often figurative; his works are filled with bodies, something headless, posing or standing in acrobatic postures. His subjects are embroidered on the canvas bags with multi-colored knitting yarn, or simply drawn on the surface. As an affordable and widespread material, the canvas bags symbolise the predominance of consumer society in the globalised world.

Background
Aristote Mago (1988), is an artist living and working in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. In 2007 he obtained a BA from l’Institut des Beaux-arts in Kinshasa, with a major in Sculpture, and in 2013 he graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Kinshasa.
His work has been exhibited at the Congo Biennale, the Espace Commines, Paris, the AKAA (Also Known As Africa) fair, Paris, and at the Bandjoun Station, Cameroun. Mago is one of the recipients of the Prince Claus Seed Award 2021.


Inspired Flight
Mago’s work was featured in Inspired Flight, a specially curated exhibition at Unfair22, showcasing the work of five emerging contemporary artists who won the Prince Claus Fund’s 2021 Seed Awards. The exhibition made possible in partnership with Prince Claus Fund  and in collaboration with The Quick + The Brave, providing a platform for the stories of Seed Awardees around the world to be heard. The Quick + The Brave initiated an eponymous content series documenting in real time how Seed Awardees are investing in their creative practice in this period of global change and learning about the community impact of their work.


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Aristote Mago_Headache_2019 (1)

Aristote Mago – Headache (2019)

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