Joseph Kapeza

Joseph Kapeza was a Congolese artist working in Sub Saharan Africa in the mid 20th century. Kapeza had a long and troubled life of mental illness. He started life as a carpenter then left for the woods where he created bizarre objects and ornaments. He disappeared again and reappeared in the marketplace in Kinshasa selling his paintings in 1955. He continued his life in and out of sanity. He met a girl in 1960 who became his wife; shortly thereafter, he was arrested for threatening passersby, after which he was institutionalized. In 1961, he was released and began to work again. As of 1962, he devoted his life to his art. In 1963, he sold most of his canvases to an Austrian collector and then disappeared into the jungle. During the 1960s, in his madness, he signed his paintings in his wife's name N'Sulu (or N'Tsulu). He was exhibited in Monte Carlo on several occasions and is considered one of the founding fathers of Sub-Saharan art during the colonial era.

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