Mustafa Maluka   (b. 1976)
What do they know!

Oil on canvas
61 x 46cm

The point of departure for Maluka is 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 a character, to give him or her a personality – glamorous, beautiful, sexy, cool – and to place them in contexts that buzz and pulsate. Through the process of painting, they become intimate friends, sharing secrets and fantasies. They say things to one another (and to many other people once they take on a life of their own in the world). Maluka could not paint a sitter he knew; this would constrict his imagination, limit his fantasies with the actors he is directing. 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 …

This year Maluka was selected for the São Paulo Bienal. He participated in the residency programme hosted by Glenfiddich in northern Scotland, and his work was included on a three-person show at Mikael Andersen Gallery in Copenhagen. His second solo show at Michael Stevenson is scheduled for February/March 2007.

© 2006 Michael Stevenson. All rights reserved.