Presented in this debut solo exhibition by Percy Maimela, is a distinctly symbolic body of work that reveals anecdotes about the important figures that have profoundly impacted his life.
While exploring other relationships, the main tribute of this work is to the artist’s mother; he finds himself reflecting back to how he was raised and how that moulded him.
Through exploring personal relationships and observed ones, he implores the viewer to reflect on their life – to art therapize yourself.
What are the traumas that you carry that are essentially not yours to carry?
The work also explores being burdened with patrilineal names and the infamous non-existent relationships with said entities that carry and symbolize the names that bring so much conflict to the self.
A rendition of the self – past, present and future. Maimela allows himself to be completely dissolved in the presence of the work and experience directly not in theory.
While we may be informed by the power of artistic expression, we are all ubiquitously included in the prose, the lyrics, the tones, the brush strokes, the concept, and symbols – like the mask which represents the universal totem of the past, present and future; representing our ability to pave a way forward for ourselves with the knowledge that we have about ourselves and our personal histories; it is within forgiving, within recognising and willing to accept our history and understand it for what it is not or what it should have been that allows this.
It may be unbecoming and highly emotive and confrontational, but there truly is no new light to beam the subject when its shadows drop on your loved ones, your present and future self.
Who is Percy Maimela?
Percy Maimela is an autodidact who taught himself how to be an artist; his preferred mediums include charcoal drawing; painting some and is a Guinness world record holder 2019 for the biggest coffee mosaic.
His work is socially conscious – its context situated within the social environment and its issues and through holding the power to incite change his body of work inspires resolution.
The mask motif along with the fingerprint pattern in Maimela’s work is a universal totem the represent our past, present and future and a symbolic sigh of the DNA and culture we inherited form our long history before we are created, respectively.
His body of work compels a deep reflection about the cultural legacies that can sustain us and further protect us against the persisting danger of assimilation that dissolves our past.
Maimela’s work has been profiled by TV shows such as 100% Youth and My First, both are on the SABC 1 channel and he continues to make waves in the art industry.
Checkout his solo debut at Mmarthouse running until 14 December 2020.
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