Malangatana was one of Mozambique’s greatest modern artists – his work has been shown internationally and just – wow! Modernism meets Goya meets traditional Mozambican motifs and political history.
The Art Institute of Chicago put on last year a really impressive show of his early works, chronicling his development of an artist in the late colonial period, his imprisonment, and his work leading up to Mozambique’s independence.
He continued to create until his death in 2011 and there’s so many incredible pieces – I’m so glad I learned about him, there’s so much to take in. Much is deeply political, as he was connected to FRELIMO and the leftist revolutionaries.
The Art Institute of Chicago also presented a really interesting livestream discussing Malangatana’s work and their exhibit recently. They go into a lot of details of his life and art, and have excerpts from interviews with him as he discusses his work. (The talk starts at the 5 minute mark, and Malangatana’s own words are at 11:30.)
And a great little clip of the artist and his studio from 2001 – Malangatana was multitalented, with his first prominence coming from poetry rather than painting, and clearly also a skilled musician.