YOUNG VOICES BY TERESA KUTALA FIRMINO & MNCEDI MADOLO

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Towards the end of 2018 we were introduced to two young artists currently living and working in Johannesburg. These two recent art graduates, Mncedi Madolo with a National Diploma in Fine Arts from the Walter Sisulu University, majoring in painting, and Teresa Kutala Firmino with a Masters Degree in Fine Arts from Wits University, impressed with strong, well-executed concepts and dedicated enthusiasm.

From 1-30 August WORLDART will host their first solo exhibitions in Cape Town.

pseudo Restitution by Teresa Kutala Firmino features paintings that explores the topic of history and events and its different meanings to different people.

Teresa Kutala Firmino was born in Pomfret in 1993. Pomfret is a remote town in the North West province of South Africa where ex-Angolan soldiers who fought with South African forces in the South African Border War (1966-1989) were relocated to after the war. Her father later joined the South African Defense force which resulted in Firmino spending her school years in Zeerust and Johannesburg before she went to the University of Witwatersrand where she obtained a Masters Degree in Fine Arts in 2018. Firmino’s present narrative is contained in a broader theme that enquires into history. “History as presented is often biased and one-sided, so to get a better understanding I reimagine my past in this so-called truth.” Personal memories and historical events are combined and presented in interior scenes that present themselves as both possibilities and invitations to reimagine history. Firmino is also part of Kutala Chopeto, a collective with fellow artist Helena Uambembe which they use as a vehicle to challenge and change some of the stereotypes presented in existing history narratives.

 

COLOUR BLIND by Mncedi Madolo looks at how classism and racism intersect.

Mncedi Madolo lives and works in Johannesburg. In 2014 he obtained a National Diploma in Fine Arts at the Walter Sisulu University majoring in painting and in 2017 he moved to Johannesburg where he embarked on a career as a full-time artist.

Living in the city brought him closer to the realities of urban life. Madolo found himself surrounded by people making a living within the constraints of a lower middle-class existence. At the same time he also noticed the severity of the onslaught by print and advertising media selling a dream to these people.

This presented interesting paradoxes and he started implementing elements of this in his work. Magazine covers celebrating “black is beautiful” and flyers advertising fast solutions to personal problems are presented with cartoon sketches mocking the status quo while familiar brands loom in the background. Many of the materials and images used in the paintings are collected from the street and present itself as a complex layering of stories.

Madolo is also a skilful illustrator who freelances as a cartoon artist for major national newspapers.


Warren Maroon