ARMA GALLERY - Contemporary Art - The Pictorial Voice of Wycliffe Mundopa - 10

Art that Confronts: The Pictorial Voice of Wycliffe Mundopa

Wycliffe Mundopa (b. 1987, Rusape, Zimbabwe) was raised in the high-density suburbs of Harare, and his art career started in Mbare. He is a firsthand witness to the intimate and informal cultural structures that simultaneously exploit and empower women.

His compositions stand out for a strong female presence, challenging gender stereotypes with nuanced and skillful representations that shed light on the reality of people’s lives in Harare. Mundopa refuses to judge his subjects, presenting them as equals, each treated with the same level of attention and artistic energy.

Mundopa is a passionate advocate for the lives of the most vulnerable. His works consistently address social and political upheavals. Filled with pathos and grandeur, they offer a painful and vibrant insight into how women’s lives reflect conflicts between tradition and change in contemporary Zimbabwean life. An avid student of art history, Mundopa urgently advocates for the importance of portraying the life of his country and contemporaries with the same emotiveness and grandeur as Dutch masters like Rubens and Rembrandt, positioning himself as an heir to that great tradition that Europeans guard jealously.

At a time when there is a renewed push towards exoticization and self-exoticization in African art, Wycliffe Mundopa counteracts with raw honesty and the brutal beauty of his figures. His talent has drawn critical attention and recognition from collectors internationally since his early youth, with works in collections ranging from Norway and Thailand to Cameroon, the U.S., Hong Kong, Nigeria, France, Israel, Australia, Kenya, the Netherlands, as well as South Africa and Zimbabwe.

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