The artist Katshiunga and his frameless wooden paintings, preserve the roughness of the suave emotions with unique cultural warmth.
Katshiunga’s art shares the history of the image over to the audience, embracing three distinctive methods of black and white paintings. Katshiunga already consumes audiences all over Belgium, his adopted country, and parts of the world where he is known. With each wooden frame conveying a diversity of emotions and moods, Katshiunga is an established recognised figure to his fans. Besides portraits, he is also a graphic designer.
David Katshiunga, was born to Congolese parents in September 12th 1987 in the capital Kinshasa. At a young age his parents made a hard decision to move to Belgium with his five siblings, and while the historic city of Mechelen is home to the artist, his first real contact with Europe began with the vibrant capital, Brussels. A multi-lingual city where different cultures merge and embrace life while being diverse.
David always had strong connections with his family and this influences his art, reflecting the gentleness of a young child when he first moved away from friends and family at the age of six.
Being introduced to another language, Katshiunga was determined to learn Dutch and on advice of friends, his parents made an even tougher decision to place him in a temporary foster home between the ages of eight and eleven years old.
Katshiunga himself indicates that this total immersion in a different culture has helped to be the artist he is today, the personal touch is the reflection of the beauty in his heart evoking emotions of beauty outside our comfort, and this reflects the hard choices made by his parents.
After losing his father at the age of ten, his mother worked hard to improve the lives of the family. Katshiunga’s most notable statement reads “My awkward youth ultimately proved to be a blessing,” said Katshiunga. “At a young age I found myself looking for solutions and I feel that has made me more independent.” So as a teenager, Katshiunga paid his way through education, including books and school trips. His mother always asked “Do you have everything?” and every time he assured her that “yes”, he did. He even hid from her that he went to work to help the family.
In high school, Katshiunga finally painted his very first real work, he has never stopped since. Back then he mainly painted for himself to allow himself to heal and grow from different life experiences:
“I was dealing with certain feelings and emotions, and what I had already experienced, and that is what I wanted to capture on wood, if possible on old doors and panels. Wood is after all, a material that has lived, and best captures a person who has lived, that’s what I want to show.”
Today, David Katshiunga has matured but his vision concerning the use of wood as the material for his paintings remains. However he now shares this very personal art with others while his fans bind with the paintings as the artist himself.
At first sight the simple message is always; “Hope”, projecting sadness, evil, joy…, a conveyor of emotions in his work. Katshiunga sees the world in which we live, “life is not always easy”, and his part is to capture a person for a prolonged period of time projecting his figures that have overcome their own plights, just like him.
Katshiunga’s embedded African roots have an impact on his work, but he himself believes that these references unconsciously creep into all his work. “I never start a work with the idea to paint an African person, but apparently even in my other portraits; some of the African traits still appear.”
Awarded – Artist award (Africa Film Festival)