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DISPLAYING an explosion of colour, energy and joy is the exhibition Bold and Beautiful by artists Makiwa Mutomba and Judy Wentzel at the Green Gallery. Well-known artist Owen Llewellyn Davies will also be launching his latest bronze sculpture for the season.
In an interview with Tonight, Mutomba explained his fascination with art.
“I fell in love with art in 1995. At that time, I was living in Zimbabwe.
“I studied electronic engineering for two years and stopped my studies and started painting full time. I always thought of engaging in art ever since I was young.
“I just wanted to focus on painting. I enjoy working with oils. I like it because it’s a very forgiving medium. You can make a mistake and scrape off the paint and start over – unlike watercolour, which is very difficult to go back and correct once you make a mistake. Also, I like the finished look of oil paintings – the very pastel look of the medium attracts me.”
Mutomba’s art portrays vibrant colours and he enjoys painting women and children. He says: “Women are very colourful in the way they dress, so it’s nice to add colour to my work… Also, I like the facial expressions of children. It is so innocent, their laugh and their cry. I find that fascinating and I like to depict that.”
His work at the exhibition, he says, is bold and beautiful, as the title suggests: “I used very bold props and I guess they are beautiful too. I always try to do that through my paintings. Sometimes when you’re painting, you start fiddling with the art to make it beautiful and in that process you remove the boldness.
“As an artist, you must also try to make it bold and always keep that in mind when making it beautiful. From where I started, I feel that I have achieved a lot. I started painting in my house and now I fill galleries and they approach me for paintings.
“I used to go from garage to garage trying to sell my paintings, so I’ve definitely come a long way. In future, I hope to keep growing as an artist. I consider my paintings to be a brand, so I want to grow the brand, so to speak. And to expand the horizon and establish myself overseas.”
Explaining his creative process, Mutomba says he is inspired by his environment and everything around him. Walking around the streets and taking photos of objects that interest him, he finds his inspiration to paint that particular scene: “I use those moments and depict that in my own way through my paintings.
“But I find that my biggest challenge is finding ways to make my paintings better. It’s always difficult to be satisfied with my own paintings even though I get a lot of compliments.
“I want to improve my paintings and that for me is my biggest challenge.”
• The exhibition runs from October 3 to 14 at the Green Gallery, Flanders Mall, Flanders Drive, Mount Edgecombe. For information, call 031 502 2757.