Mbongeni Fakudze is an emerging mixed media fine artist born in Swaziland in 1982 and currently living and working in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Mbongeni’s body of work focuses on the contemporary African women, their beauty, their pride, their unique stance but also addresses issues that women face in a society that undergoes a roller-coaster ride of a transition from a traditional African culture to a modern democratic society where women enjoy equal rights – or so on paper at least!
Mbongeni Fakudze carefully weaves symbolism into his powerful portraits, such as pieces of money (the lobola system is still in place where a groom has to pay money to the parents of his future wife), or women wearing head scarves as a symbol of womanhood and power.
But his great strength lies in the understanding of the ways in which
objects and images impress upon us via essences of colour, shape and texture and how these essences affect us as deeply as the physical form to which they are ordinarily attached.
The paintings are thus held in an innovative balance between a focus on
form and the endless associativity they inspire.
‘My art explores the concept of solidity versus fluidity versus gaseousness. I’ve always seen the world through the microscopic eye of an atomic physicist and simultaneously the cosmic eye of an astrophysicist and herein lies the two extremes of physical existence…of my existence.
In observing my strokes, one can observe that the surface of the canvas and the surface of the skin of my subjects are broken down and disintegrated.
I use my expressive strokes to articulate a discontinuity in both the skin of my subject
and in the surface of the canvas…In this series of female portraits I explore the concept of the un-solidness of identity …gaseous, fluid and solid simultaneously… fluidity of identity…which layer, which state of matter truly represents the person.’
For more information on Fakudze or O.D.A’s current solo exhibition ‘Focus on Women’ please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. The exhibition will be available to view 7 days a week at 42 Huguenot Street, Franschhoek, Western Cape, South Africa untill 30 August.