FNB Art Prize Winner: Wycliffe Mundopa

by | Nov 15, 2021 | Art, CSA Celebrates, Culture, Entertainment, Lifestyle, Talent, The Wire

  • Providence: Harare, Zimbabwe
  • Who is Wycliffe Mundopa
  • Artistic narrative and style
  • “Experience as feeling”
  • The FNB Art Prize

FNB Art Prize winner, Wycliffe Mundopa, always knew he was going to be an artist, having expressed the desire to be a figurative painter at the age of 14. Born in Rusape, Zimbabwe, he studied art at the Peter Birch College of Art in Harare and then at the National Gallery School of Visual Arts Zimbabwe.

Mundopa’s visual narratives place women upfront in his social commentary. It is the minutia of their lives that serve as a metaphor to reflect what happens in society. Through the lens of the women, he says, he observes the social and political upheavals of life in urban Zimbabwe.

Mundopa’s visual narratives place women upfront in his social commentary. It is the minutia of their lives that serve as a metaphor to reflect what happens in society. Through the lens of the women, he says, he observes the social and political upheavals of life in urban Zimbabwe.

His bold use of color is audacious and unapologetic. They vividly vibrate with rhythm and emotion, summoning the “experience as feeling” from the marketplace he so often paints.

“I am not painting a picture, but (rather) how you feel when you visit the marketplace. That is what I am interested in. I spend most of my time in those areas so when I am in the studio, everything resonates, from the sounds to movement,” says Wycliffe.

“I’m very honored to win the FNB Art Prize this year, especially because I have exhibited in South Africa for a number of years now. This really solidifies my ties with the country and the many people who support my work here. It’s also important to show in museums and galleries in Africa because most of our work is exhibited abroad. As an artist who’s living and working on the continent, I think it’s important to have such platforms.”

Indeed, the FNB Art Prize has become one of the most coveted visual art prizes on the African continent.

Says Mandla Sibeko, director of FNB Art Joburg: “FNB Art Joburg is the first art fair in Africa and it has always been our agenda for the FNB Art Prize to be reflective of the entire scope of the best art that comes from the continent.” All of which is especially valuable at a time when African artists, like Wycleffe Mundopa, are being celebrated globally.

C.S.A.’s monthly cultural portal, The WIRE connects the dots of culture. With concise stories, many with video content, take a premium dive into the world of African entertainment & cultural fluidity. It’s one thing to be hip to what’s happening but it is another to know why.

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