djofray makumbu

about me

Amongst my peers I am know as a workaholic as there is never a moment where I am not deeply submerged in art. I don’t consider art as just another subject, but a way of life that allows me to completely express myself which is a task I find difficult.
My art is influenced by my life experiences and the world I live in. I struggled at school and because of my dyslexia I was told I would never succeed as an artist. My careers advisor told me to be realistic and that I’d be better painting walls for the council and that I’d never complete a University course. In spite of that I went to BSix college, did Summer School at Goldsmiths and got a place on the BA. It was hard because of my learning difficulties but I loved it and feel that I became who I wanted to be. I ended up winning the Alumno SPACE studio award when I left . That’s when I actually started to really fully express my thoughts and feelings about the world around me and the emotions I had suppressed, in my work. I explored the difficulties for a young black man growing up in the inner city. For instance when I was carrying my paintings home from my degree show I was stopped and searched by the police. They didn’t believe it was my work, that I’d stolen it. It made me feel like a criminal. The shame of dyslexia and the hiding that I have had to do to survive, the danger of gang violence , stabbing and drugs and the depression and misery this causes young people and their families. This is all subject matter for my work.
I believe that as an artist I shouldn't limit myself with the work I create. I work with different types of techniques such as using flash motion, video, 3D/2D, drawing, photography, painting, clay animations and sculptures, I build sets and stitch garments for my characters. I find the process of making short films with different techniques together satisfying and interesting because I get to create what I envisioned in many different ways and styles. Goldsmiths taught me to be open and willing to try different ways of seeing and experimenting.