The work of Ronald Muchatuta, trained as a multi-disciplined artisan during his teens and young adulthood in urban Harare, embodies the challenges faced by African migrants, as interpreted from his present position as a celebrated emerging visual artist based in Cape Town. Exhibited at GAFRA, Muchatuta’s dark and brooding, yet exceptionally vivid and powerful, recent oil paintings incisively explore timely topics such as the transitory artificiality of borders, a needed reversal of Africa’s intellectual and professional “brain drain”, China’s increasingly pervasive influence on the continent, and the disturbing symbolism of Africa’s diminishing wildlife population.
These excerpted comments, on several of Muchatuta’s oil paintings in this collection, offer glimpses of his dramatic perspectives on African migration---
“Conflict and war forced migration is inevitable; human beings migrate like schools of fish. Wildlife is in a constant fight against the partitioned properties of man...wildlife and man share the same fate or the same struggle of trying to move to the other side. One loses their original stripes when in a foreign land.”