Thursday, 22 January 2015

Benon Lutaaya conquers Cape Town

Event: Benon Lutaaya Portrait of Self solo show 
Date: 29 December 2014 – 29 January 2015
Venue: World Art gallery, 54 Church Street, Cape Town
Gallery hours: Monday to Fridays 10h00 - 17h00 and Saturdays from 10h00 - 13h00.
In association with Lizamore and Associates Gallery, Johannesburg

Ugandan born visual artist Benon Lutaaya’s foray into the Cape Town art scene has been met with enthusiasm.  This Johannesburg based artist, who works from his studio in The Bag Factory, has built a strong following among Johannesburg based collectors and now his Cape Town solo show, which sold out during preview opportunities – two weeks before it was open to the public.

The show titled “Portrait of Self”, is still open until the 29th January at Cape Town’s Worldart gallery, and was mounted in association with Lizamore and Associates, a Johannesburg based contemporary gallery.

Lutaaya’s work is largely collage based portraiture on canvas.  His medium is crucial to both his visual style as well as the content he explores. His technique reveals layers of constant manipulation, exploration and approximations in the application of collage. These layers are purposefully interspersed with elements of intervention and disturbance, intended to blur to fixed ideas, and raise important questions about the way identity is constructed. He finds the waste paper used in his collage work particularly suitable for creating his portraits as he perceives an element of humanity in the material.

This show, like his earlier works still uses portraiture as a vehicle to explore the human condition. However, while his previous solo exhibition at Lizamore and Associates in 2013, titled “Transgressions” looked to society at large and the archetypes he saw in others, in this body of work, he turns his probing eyes inwards and looks to himself as the subject of his curiosity.

Says Lutaaya: “Portrait of Self has been inspired and nourished by my day to day life experiences. This exhibition is about my identity and how I have been formed, shaped and manipulated by my own creative process.”

The artist draws from his own personal challenges, such as living as an immigrant between two worlds, and believes that “the successful integration of these ideas and emotions into my creative process serve as a constant reminder that there’s more to life, and that suffering is simply one of its punctuations and never a foregone conclusion about destiny”.
Lutaaya only started his professional career in 2010 as a paper collage artist. In 2011 he received a residency at the Bag Factory Artists’ Studios in Johannesburg, a significant institution that is part of the worldwide Triangle Trust network.  Over a fairly short career span his work has made an impact on serious collectors and the market at large.  

In 2014 Lutaaya’s work “Portrait”, a mixed media collage created in 2013, came up on the secondary market for the first time, via auctioneers Stephan Welz and Co’s . It fetched a staggering 
R 102 312, 00 five times that of the reserve price.

Through his firm belief that art can confront barriers, empower dreams and change lives, Lutaaya has used his art to significantly contribute back to the community. While he is still building his own financial sustainability as a full time visual artist, he has donated over R300,000.00 to different worthy arts and children’s’ charity causes in South Africa.

Lutaaya’s solo show will be open at Worldart Gallery until 29th January 2015.
For media enquiries:
Art Source South Africa
Kelly McErlean
011 447 2855