15 February - 16 March 2007
Michael Stevenson is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Mustafa Maluka, his second at the gallery following Accented Living: a rough guide in 2005. Maluka's star is on the rise, and in 2006 his work was included on the seventh São Paulo Bienal, one of the most high-profile of biennales. Michael Stevenson will also exhibit his work at the Armory Show, the International Fair of New Art in New York (23-26 February 2007).
The Interview (a transcript) comprises a series of Maluka's signature paintings, head-and-shoulders portraits that draw stylistically on the history of painting and mark-making with a street culture edge.
Maluka has a particular interest in minorities, migration and the perception of immigrants in various societies. The point of departure for his portraits is usually a photograph, often torn from a fashion magazine, of a person to whom he senses some immediate connection. From this beginning he proceeds to create characters, to give them personalities - glamorous, sexy, cool, sultry - and to place them in contexts that buzz and pulsate. He often draws an analogy between putting on a play and an exhibition - there are reasons why the word 'show' is used to describe both: each requires characters, actors, a set, a script, an audience and the inevitable critics …
Born in 1976, Maluka grew up on the Cape Flats. He held his first solo exhibitions in Cape Town in 1997 and 1998, before moving to Amsterdam to study at De Ateliers, a highly regarded postgraduate art institute. He was awarded the annual Tollman prize for a young artist on his return to Cape Town in 2004. In 2006 he participated in a residency hosted by Glenfiddich in northern Scotland, and his work was included on a three-person show at Mikael Andersen Gallery in Copenhagen. Recent group exhibitions include New Painting, which showed at the KZNSA Gallery in Durban, the Unisa gallery in Pretoria and the Johannesburg Art Gallery; Nie Meer at De Warande in Turnhout, Belgium; and Personal Affects: Power and poetics in contemporary South African art, which travelled to the Contemporary Museum in Honolulu, Hawaii, in 2006. In addition to painting, Maluka is an active player in the digital realm, running the pioneering website www.africanhiphop.com, hosting his show on africanhiphopradio.com and releasing music by local musicians on his Ævenger©åmÞ imprint.
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© 2007 Michael Stevenson. All rights reserved.