Ugandan artist Ian Mwesiga’s work is rooted in the human psyche, his own and that of his subjects. Using windows in many of his pieces as a gateway into their lives. The proportions and placement of his characters within their landscape, reveal their psychological world to the viewer. Or rather it makes you question what that is. You can’t help but wonder what his characters are thinking (the nearly naked woman in painting two, the man by the pool in painting four, his inner world magnified by his reflection in the water, as well as his shadow), looking at (specifically the young women in paintings three and eight, using lenses via the camera with the man in painting two, or sunglasses, the woman in painting seven to enhance audience curiosity), or feel.
Finding inspiration in historical black and white photos (his creations mirroring his creative process in painting one), his pieces are a “negotiation between the future and the past.” In more ways than one, as we’re left to wonder where did these people come from, where are they going?
Mwesiga’s regards his work as a metamorphosis via introspection, “why am I doing this, why is it important?” As an exercise in self-questioning he use to paint portraits blindfolded to answer said questions, by seeing what emerges from within.
A brilliant, erudite artist who uses moody colors as an homage to oil painting masters before him, and to complement the dark skin of his figures. Everything is conscientious, created with purpose. Phenomenal. Which piece is your favorite? Artist: Ian Mwesiga