Matt Kayem | Blue Jeans: Solo Exhibition

1 December 2021 - 5 January 2022 Dubai
“I use this cloth with denim and urban clothing to comment and highlight my position as a young ‘modernised’ African trying to reconnect with the depleted past that went with colonialism.”
- Matt Kayem
AKKA Project is pleased to present Matt Kayem, an Ugandan contemporary visual artist. Blue Jeans offers a chance to take a deeper look at his braided creations, representation of contemporary African people, fake versions of the real ones, that have lost their original identity after colonialism.

Matt’s textural creations show a deep influence by surrealism and pop art. Through daily representation, the artist presents us His “Afropop” aesthetic that explores themes like race, religion and sexuality. Starting from the classical tradition of a self-portrait, the artist moves forward carrying the artwork and the observer into a reality able to transcend pop culture.

The character looks directly at the observer and transforms the representation of a normal daily scene into a moment of uncomfortable confrontation between the modernized African man that the artist wants to introduce to us and the ghost behind him.

A ghost who basically asks: is this the real you? Or have you lost your pure being over the years and you let yourself be swallowed by a culture that does not belong to you?


The artist’s production widens from the rielaboration of the traditional portrait introducing daily intimate sets characterized by a nearly disturbing quiet that leads us to question ourselves if we’re welcome in the scene. Matt Kayem opens the window of vision on privacy allowing the viewer to quietly take a peek.