by Sarah Mattera, curator at Centre Pompidou, Paris, France



I met Mambo in 2007 when he was working with 9th Concept collective and we created together ‘Peinture Fraîche’ (Fresh Paint) in October 2007. I offered him to choose and transform one of the existing artworks hanging in the modern/contemporary collections in the Centre Pompidou, Mambo chose ‘Jardin d’Hiver’ by Jean Dubuffet. Mambo’s version of this work was a canvas called ‘Dumbo’, a contraction of the two names Dubuffet and Mambo. In the work he produced in reference to this sculpture, Mambo created a two-dimensional work, whilst retaining the foundation of the graphic principle of Jardin d‘Hiver: white shapes circled with black lines, as a springboard for his own creation. The artwork that was produced at the Centre Pompidou appears as a conscious or unconscious picture of the isolationism of daily life in our world, which nevertheless can sometimes transcend its negativity to stimulate creativity.


It was the beginning of a new narrative method that would be the birth of his ‘Brainology’ series. Possible seeds of this graphic style may already be identified in a more stylized way as early as 1992, at a time when Mambo was doing Graffiti Art. The use of lines came from the throw-up technique Mambo was using in street graffiti, an appellation that illustrates the spontaneous nature of improvising large, sloppy, round letters that appear on many window shutters in Paris.


In an age of digital interconnectedness, we are all part of the same, large network and this is what Mambo tells us in this series. He uses the general title ‘Brainology’ for this series of artworks, etymologically signifying the science of the brain. The Brainology artwork could, therefore, be seen as a study of our brain’s narrative.


‘Positivity’ Mural at Agnès B Gallery, Paris, 2009
‘Dazzle’ Acrylic on canvas, 2016, installed at Castanier Gallery, Los Angeles.

All artworks are © 2024 Flavien “Mambo” Demarigny