Marching to the beat

Lio Bumba (BUMBAKiNi) is a self-taught artist who brings a global view to the Denver art scene.

Marching to the beat

By Lio Bumba 

Originally published in Birdy Magazine, Issue 079, July 2020

Lio Bumba (BUMBAKiNi) is a self-taught artist who brings a global view to the Denver art scene. Of Congolese descent, he boldly envisions the modern American experience from a black man’s perspective in swaths of folkloric imagery inspired by his African descent, European upbringing, and the decade he's now spent based out of Colorado. His works range between paintings, drawings, mixed-media; to digital and performative art installations.

Marching to the beat from Black Love Bodies Series.


The featured work, Marching to the beat, is part of the greater body of work I have designated as Black Love Bodies. My aim with this series is to broaden and vary how black bodies are depicted and viewed within the conversation of visual arts. I am deconstructing and reconstructing seemingly silhouetted black bodies in both grotesque and aesthetically-pleasing forms in the hopes that this sparks an inner-monologue with the viewer about their own ideas surrounding the "Black Body.”


I will be participating in a group show, Human: What Defines Us — a celebration of being — curated by Alycia Ann and Scott Young at the new Onward Gallery space in Denver's RiNo Art District (2719 Larimer Street) opening July 3 and running through September 7. The narrative is built around our optimistic artistic response to not only the current isolation matters that have occurred during the pandemic, but also the amplification of our need for social change. The show will bring together 12+ artists with drastically varying mediums and styles to create a cohesive look at what defines being “human” in our current times. Scott Young will also be contributing neon work in the show as well as a couple of neon collaborations with artists. I'm also the featured artist at The Economist in Capitol Hill (1578 N. Humboldt Street) starting on July 8 and running through August, with 8-12 works on display including Marching to the beat, which will move from its current location in Civic Park. 

You can find out more about my works, submit questions, and inquire via the channels below:


Instagram: @LioBumba

Email: [email protected]


ONWARD is a fresh, creative space, existing to re-ignite our human spirit as we explore this new age ahead. We offer opportunities for creatives, local artists, chefs, retailers and unique makers. As a community collective and a safe gathering space, we provide a home to host small events, dinner parties and curated experiences as our garden courtyard sets a relaxed scene in an open and lush environment. 

About The Economist: 

The Economist is a unique, art-centric pair of buildings, mostly known for its colorful set of murals by Denver artist DETOUR, which happen to face each other between the two structures. It’s located in  Denver’s Uptown Neighborhood, where emerging local artists are able to showcase their work in the common areas of the ground level of both buildings, with solo shows rotating every two months. Artists get to keep 100 percent of sales, and this is all managed in partnership with @lefthandarts who also runs the same model with one month long shows at the Matchbox, a popular bar in the RiNo Arts District. These kinds of shows connect local businesses with their communities while supporting local artists in a very important way - financially.

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