Hi there Thonton,
Welcome to NationInspiration!
1.Please tell us a bit more about yourself?
Art has always been part of my life and me. It started as a game between my brother and I, when we used to compete who’s drawing is more interesting. I was about 6 years old. Basketball was my choice of direction initially. My focus was more on playing and hoping one day I would make it to the big leagues. Destiny had a different plan for me! :-) And so I find myself serving my community through the power of art.
2. Our heart is for all to grasp the inspiration that they already are when we use what we have. What or who inspires you?
My immediate environment is a source for inspiration for me. There is always something interesting, curious, touching - that pops up unexpectedly. One just has to be present, listen and be tuned into the smallest details of life. In my studio I have a creative board that is full of odd bits and pieces that I collect and then stick on it. Those pieces mean something for me, they somehow made their way into my life and later they become a spark for an idea, inspiration, concept etc. I connect with the familiar feeling and the emotion those pieces bring to me. If you want me to narrow down a few inspiring people, that would be - my brother, Mbuyi Mizangi who passed away when I was very young, and we were very close, Bob Marley, Maya Angelou, Michael Jordan, and so many more people in my life, currently, that bring incredible energy and positivity.
3.What are you most passionate about?
From an art point of view - The subject of fragility, which you can probably see comes across my art very often. It can be through objects or humans, as in children, women. I am still very passionate about basketball, although a bad injury in December prevents me from playing now. I absolutely love Salsa dancing, and am passionate and motivated also to observe my own growth and development, as an artist. I believe that one has a duty to oneself to grow and develop as a human being, that for me translates into my art as well. In every different stage of my human development, that reflects back into my art - I see things differently through a new perspective, with new eyes and new life wisdom.
4. What pre-conceived ideas and notions, out there, would you like to tear down through your ART?
As an artist I disagree strongly with the concept that schools produce artists! One cannot learn to be an artist, this comes from within. How can a schooling system teach you to be yourself, to be original, to create art?
5. What mediums do you use, mostly?
I mostly use walnut powder for my paintings. I like attention to detail, hence I prepare my own canvasses, which is a very unique way of working, very time consuming and exclusive.
6.What are your plans for the future? (Any new exhibits ect?)
Yes, I'm actually working on a series of exhibitions for Congo and Spain, with a new body of work that I'll be showing and a few local group shows. My upcoming show, in Congo, is about “Children and Mines” - it has become such a “normal” thing to see child labour in mines!?
7. How can readers connect with you?
I use Facebook and Instagram as professional profiles - Thonton Kabeya, and I also have a website:
8. Do you have an inspiring thought or quote to share with us?
There are many uplifting words. I listen to motivational speakers and talks that sometimes spark a note. I can’t think of one specific one now, but there is so much to be inspired about in life. One just needs to have the right mental attitude and an open mind to recognise it.
"Squares in my mind." :
Please visit Thonton's website, Facebook and Instagram to stay connected and to view his passion filled works in full.