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 Geoffrey Ernest Katantazi Mukasa  (1954 - 2009)

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Lived/Active: Uganda      Known for: painting

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Ad Code: 4
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
"Strong fisherman"
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Geoffrey Mukasa who was born in 1954 and died in 2009 is one of Uganda's most renowned artists. Having spent part of his childhood in the King’s palace in Buganda he studied Fine Art in Lucknow, India and graduated with a degree in Fine Arts in 1984. He returned to Uganda in the 1980s at one of the darkest times in the country’s history and worked as a graphic artist at the national television station. It wasn’t until the economic and political stability of the 1990’s that he was able to turn professional as an artist. There is something quintessentially Ugandan about Mukasa’s paintings which are mostly of people but often populated with local fruit and lush vegetation, chickens and bottles of beer. His colours reflect his country’s love of colour but also seem to hint at Greek and Indian art. The faces in his work are usually unsettling. What seems to be a direct gaze becomes ambiguous on closer inspection. The paintings seem to mirror and be part of the phenomenon of environmental and human beauty coexisting alongside terror that was the reality of Uganda under Idi Amin and Milton Obote’s second period of rule. His figures of “ordinary people” are the repositories of a country’s troubled history as much as they are bearers of mystical messages. Geoffrey Mukasa’s work has been exhibited in Germany, Austria, India, South Africa, and Uganda. Maria Fischer, founder of Tulifanya Gallery, Kampala writes: "Seen in his orderly assemblage of planes and colour fields. His oils are bold and direct. As Stanley Spencer saw Christ in the English village of Cookham, and used the local scenery as a backdrop to the Testament, so Mukasa uses the landscape around Kampala combined with elements of urban life as a superficial entry point from which to project a deeper, more mystical message, both allegorical and allusive.” David Kaiza, Ugandan journalist writes: “There was something immensely sad and instructive about the trajectory of his career – which speaks of the powerlessness in the circumstance of the lives of people in places like Uganda, how factors beyond our control bequeath to us that which we become.” Source: http://www.africancolours.com/african-art-features/59/uganda/death_of_an_artist.htm
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