Manuela Sambo was born in Luanda, Angola in 1964. In 1984 Sambo moved into the former German Democratic Republic and studied between 1985 and 1993 at Leipzig University.
Since 1991 Manuela Sambo exhibits as a visual artist.
Currently the artist lives and works in Berlin.
Female figures are frequently the subject of Manuela Sambo’s oil-pastel drawings and paintings. The artist uses expressive colours to depict faces and bodies, filling the almond-shaped eye contours (à la Amedeo Modigliani) with bright, monochromatic colours. Despite her idiosyncratic visual ideas and pictorial language, the styles and themes she draws on are part of Western art history. That she was inspired by Modigliani’s depiction of eyes is a double reflection of sorts given that Modigliani himself had drawn inspiration from African art. Besides references to Western art, Sambo’s figures are reminiscent of African masks and their formal idiom. Clarity of composition and focus on the main figures characterizes her style. Owing to the allusions to African mask traditions, the aesthetics of Sambo’s formal language is highly valued by the expressionists as well.