Heavy(weight), Portrait of Benjamin Gasinga Gaspard - Rwanda


By Papay Solomon

© Papay Solomon

Papay Solomon undertook a BFA degree at Arizona State University, School of Art, Tempe, AZ. His work has been seen in solo and group exhibitions New York, Boston and Phoenix and was selected for inclusion in the Arizona Biennial 2018 at Tucson Museum of Art, winning the Erni Cabat Award.

The portrait is of the artist’s long-standing friend, Benjamin, and is part of a series of large-scale portraits of young people using ‘hyper-realism to explore the language of portraiture to expand African narratives’. After a traumatic childhood being forced out of the Congo due to the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide, and the death of his father, Benjamin now lives in the United States, while his mother remains in Rwanda and can only visit on rare occasions.