Zimbabwean-born mixed media artist Wycliffe Mundopa uses his connection to painting as a way to document the lives of women and children in Harare’s underprivileged neighbourhoods. His compassion towards those he portrays is coupled with his anger about how the circumstances of these women and children have been pushed aside.
Mundopa’s paintings delicately combine the pain of these circumstances with the vibrancy with which the people he paints live their lives. He tackles issues related to the conflict between traditional understandings of women’s roles and the ambitions of the women he paints, as well as the economic tensions present in Harare. This all comes across through they way that Mundopa masterfully uses personal iconography and allegorical imagery to reference these social and economic realities. Streets, fruits carts and other familiar, everyday parts of Harere are stretched and distorted making the paintings come across as fantasy or dream-like reflections. Human figures borrow animal faces and unnatural skin colours. Through this a vibrant visual language is used to express way in which urban life and moral codes are constructed by the communities he paints.
His works are collected and exhibited as far wide as Hong Kong, Kenya, Australia, France, UK, Germany and The Netherlands, Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea.
Check out his website to see more of his work: