Mwamba-Salim Wilson
Mwamba-Salim Wilson

Born: September 29, 1980

Nationality: African American/Creole

Painting Movement

Abstract Expressionism, Neo-expressionism, Primitivism abstract

Artist Statement

To me my Art is the Rawest form of expressionism, all the images and quotes, phrases and poetry you see on the artwork comes from my recollection of being in a dream state and recalling that information. All the lines and patterns you see in the background of my paintings represent the evolution of sound transferred into color and shape. Most of the writing symbols on the art are Mayan, Native American, Egyptian, Sumerian and my own Mwamba-Salim Wilson coded language. The art is Living Dreams. My art is primitive, colorful, and abstract.

Early life

You could say I spent half of my life in Louisiana on a farm near Eunice, Opelousas, and Lafayette in Church Point at my grandmother’s home; running after cows, pigs, riding horses, and looking up at the clouds and the many, many stars. The Cajun way of life is deep in my blood. The other half of my life was spent in Houston, Texas, in the 3rd ward. A place of run down homes, destitution, and poverty, it was a day to day struggle just to survive. Growing up in a home where I didn’t know if I was going to eat that day. I took from that experience to just live life, and when you’re put in a situation to make your dreams come alive, do it! Approach it as an opportunity to increase your good qualities. In my art it’s not about justifying my work or making it seem more important than what it is. To me, it’s about understanding myself and making my dreams crash into the reality of the world.

I began as a graffiti artist in Houston, TX, in the late 1990’s and evolved into an acclaimed Primitive Abstract and Primitivism painter by the 2000’s.

Throughout my career I focused on the primitivism abstract movement such as wealth versus poverty, integration versus segregation, and inner versus outer experience; poetry, drawing and painting, which married text and image; abstraction and figuration; and historical information mixed with contemporary critique. I also attacked power structures and systems of racism. While my poetics are not acutely political and direct in their criticism of colonialism, I am a supporter for class of struggle in America and for other countries to live free in a democratic society.