Primo Marella Gallery is pleased to present the exhibition Africa Universe. Chapter 2, Troy Makaza: Visceral Politics, the second part of a group show, entirely dedicated to Contemporary African Art. The exhibition will include the work of artists such as Joël Andrianomearisoa, Ifeoma U. Anyaeji, Abdoulaye Konaté, Marie-Claire Messouma Manlanbien, Cameron Platter, Ghizlane Sahli and Amina Zoubir.
Africa Universe is a monumental project divided in three chapters - exhibitions, which Primo Marella Gallery is hosting in the following months. Each show is dedicated to a particular artist. The first chapter of Africa Universe featured the work of Angolan artist Januario Jano, the second part of this artistic journey, instead, will present the work of an emerging Zimbabwean artist - Troy Makaza (1994).
Born in Harare, where he currently resides, Makaza is a graduate of the National Gallery School of Visual Art and Design (NGSVAD). During his studies, Makaza set about developing his own visual language characterized by filamentary structures built by the interweaving of painted silicone strings. The artist blends tints, inks with and industrial silicone into forms that can be moulded and woven. In this way he creates a range of vibrant shapes, structures, and textures, which appear figurative and abstract, traditional and contemporary at the same time. These threadlike spider webs built from twisted strands represent powerful metaphors for Zimbabwe’s contemporary reality as well as social and intimate spaces.
In particular in the newest series Visceral Politics Makaza is looking at the way the diet and culture of self-care of his compatriots has been transformed through recent history. Building on the concept of food consumption, this new body of work reflects on the Politics of the stomach, an expression popularised by Jean-François Bayart in his 1989 book L'État en Afrique: La Politique du Ventre to describe African political power in the post-colonial era characterized by a controlling government and the interdependence of the elite in control of the private and public spheres. It refers, in particular, to the relationship between nepotism, corruption, and power. The Visceral Politics is both a metaphor for egotism and a reflection on a globalised political reality, where governments are being exposed as serving the wealthy elites, while neglecting the needs of local community, not mentioning the environmental issues. Although Makaza’s narrative is ideologically and politically motivated, his approach towards art is playful and fluid. He borrows widely yet subtly from popular visual culture, traditional imagery and art history.
Troy Makaza’s recent exhibitions include Another Antipodes at PS Art Space (Australia: 2017); Right at the Equator at Depart Foundation, Los Angeles (USA: 2018); Five Bhobh – Painting at the End of an Era here at Zeitz MOCAA (South Africa: 2018-2019); Welcome Home at MACAAL Gallery, Marrakesh (Morocco: 2019)
or Kubatana, African contemporary art at Vestfossen Kunstlaboratorium (Norway: 2019). Troy Makaza has been recently announced as the winner of the Tomorrows/Today prize during the Investec Cape Town Art Fair 2019.