Thonton Kabeya – La Rumba Rosa at Bonne Esperance Gallery April 21 – June 25 – Paris

Dear Shaded Viewers,

Thonton Kabeya is a Congolese artist based in Johannesburg since 2014.  He cultivates his inner paradise through painting. The imprint of newspaper ink bursts with vivid colors in this series presented by Bonne Espérance Gallery; scenes full of life, punctuated by the sophisticated lines of the sapeurs* carried away by la Rumba Rosa.

“My work is the reflection of my joy”.

A step to the side by the artist Thonton Kabeya, a hip movement sweeps away problems, a fantastic rhythm makes you want to dance the Rumba Rosa. Thonton Kabeya explores the universe of dance practiced in the Republic of Congo and the African origins of many global dance phenomena – dance as an escape, a problem-solver, a cultural phenomenon to bring people together. More than a dance punctuated by music, la Rumba Rosa is poetry, the art of living with others, the art of being a sapeur*, the art of smiling at life. Thonton’s art brings together all communities – straight, gay, lesbian, children, parents, grandparents, women, men; the tempo invites us to accept differences and to dance together. “African artists are often led to give a negative image of Africa, with its political conflicts, corruption, inequality, exploitation. Africa is, however, above all else, the joy of living, music, dance, the sun, the pleasure of sharing exhilarating parentheses together. This is the Rumba Rosa! and I like to see that my work reflects joy.”

BONNE ESPÉRANCE Gallery is an invitation to discover the creative exuberance of South Africa. Located in the centre of Paris, at 3 rue Notre Dame de Bonne Nouvelle in the 2nd arrondissement,
the gallery exhibits both emerging and established artists working in the fields of art, design and craft. From Cape Town to Johannesburg, Durban to Pretoria, BONNE ESPÉRANCE is a dive into the creative geography of South Africa and its neighboring countries, Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana and Namibia. Open to the curious, to amateurs and to collectors, BONNE ESPÉRANCE Gallery gives a new voice to an art scene that is unique on the African continent for its originality, diversity and openness to the world. Founded by Scott Billy and Kari Smith, the gallery offers regular programming showing new and established artists, designers and craftspeople, with exhibits often created by the artists themselves to showcase links between different artists’ work.



Diane Pernet

A LEGENDARY FIGURE IN FASHION and a pioneer of blogging, Diane is a respected journalist, critic, curator and talent-hunter based in Paris. During her prolific career, she designed her own successful brand in New York, costume designer, photographer, and filmmaker.