when life meets art

The Work of Jack Kabangu

When we first met Jack Kabangu, we felt a connection. A connection that grew into a collaboration and a collection of limited-edition Les Deux x Jack Kabangu styles.  The way Kabangu works off differences and incorporates contrasts into his paintings convinced us that a collaboration was inescapable. Every piece that Kabangu creates is born out of a sense of joy, and to us, that is truly inspirational. 

Two unique finger paintings customized for Les Deux now translate into a total of six exclusive Les Deux x Kabangu styles. The playful artwork prints draw inspiration from street sports, urban living, and big city dreams, interpreted by Kabangu with Les Deux in mind.

The Zambia-born artist moved to Denmark more than 17 years ago. Now, he has settled in Copenhagen where he lives and works out of his creative studio. 

 

One of the things about Kabangu that fascinates us is his intuitive way of embracing difference in his art. He explores visual and metaphorical contrasts, mixing elements from his roots with present day inspiration – all in the name of fun.

About Jack Kabangu

Jack Kabangu is a Copenhagen-based artist born in Zambia in 1995. Using finger painting techniques, Kabangu draws inspiration from a wide range of sources including classic hip-hop and rap, film, and contemporary culture.

Kabangu’s work explores visual and metaphorical contrasts, resulting in distinctive and playful pieces with a unique aesthetic.

“For me, the most important thing about my work, is that I have fun doing it.(…) You can also see it in the pieces. They are very playful and childish. There are no straight edges, and the colors rarely fill out the canvas completely. They are spontaneous. There are no rules. I just start, and when I feel like the pieces are done, I stop changing them.”

Jack Kabangu, Artist

What sets Kabangu’s work apart is how closely connected he is to his art pieces. By using his fingers as primary tools of communication, he feels at one with the artwork. This way, whatever message he wants the piece to carry, it originates directly from him. His life is literally expressed in his paintings. 

“When I’m just using my hands, the art flows. It’s between my fingertips, and I have control of how the paintings turn out.”Kabangu explained. This uniqueness is unobtainable through anything but Kabangu’s own hands. 

“I’ve tried creating work with a brush before, but I’m not sure it’s the right way to do it for me. (…) I feel like when I’m painting with a brush, I’m more restricted in my movements. I can’t really get the look and feel of what I’m after.”he said.

Kabangu cites a wide range of sources as inspiration, from feelings to memories and books to films. But his primary influence remains the hip hop and rap music that he listened to as a child.

“I grew up listening to 50 Cent. Hip-hop has always been in motion – developing into something new. You move from artist to artist, and I started to listen to Lil Wayne, and that whole pop rap wave. After that it was Kanye West, Tyler the Creator, and Frank Ocean. These artists were so creative and visually strong. They were extremely talented at putting images to their music,” he explained.

The Limited Edition

The collaboration with Jack Kabangu perfectly underlines the inspiration behind our latest Pre Autumn 22 collection, called West 4th Street Court Gallery. A collection sprung from the artwork of everyday life, depicted as graffiti street art on the sides of buildings, on basketball courts, and as stickers underneath a skateboard. The collection is a story of the meeting between art and life and focuses on the theme that art is not only evident in galleries, but also in our everyday life.

Kabangu Styles

"Jack’s designs were so stunning and played into that idea so powerfully. You don’t just view art in galleries. You find it on T-shirts and hoodies. It’s on the street. You wear it. And as Jack does, you live it and live through it.”

Mathias Jensen, Les Deux’s Creative Director

WATCH THE VIDEO

In Conversation with Jack Kabangu