Sim Simaro lives and works in Kinshasa, and this work of his mesmerized me the moment I saw it. It has the striking clarity of Kehinde Wiley’s portraits, but also a certain earnesty that is lost in Western art. The title, where the author refers to himself as the prophet of popular painting, reminded me of my favorite Russian painter Leonid Purygin, who would always sign his works referring to himself as a genius. Simaro also has a very curious work titled “The Marriage of Homosexuals”, where he raises the issue of different approaches to marriage equality in the US and the Catholic parts of Africa. Perhaps his view is not exactly the same as mine, but I would be a very bad queer activist if I didn’t think that post-colonial sensibility and intersectionality are huge parts of the struggle.