Artspace will be hosting the opening of a solo exhibition on August 7 by Ugandan born, Joburg-based artist, Benon Lutaaya entitled Transgressions. Sara Hallett, director of the Bag Factory, will open the show. The artist sees this show as his first major solo exhibition in Johannesburg.
Lutaaya finds inspiration in his own autobiographical life experiences utilising numerous issues as subject matter, such as identity, child hardship, homelessness, isolation and fear. His work depicts vulnerability and suggests a longing for protection.
“The subjects I depict in my works are often my personal life encounters and experiences with homeless, abused children, yet they are a reflection of my own identity,” says Lutaaya.
“The use of my own eyes in most of my portraits symbolises my wish for these kids to see the world as I do. On the other hand, it also symbolises me, forming part of the subjects I choose to depict. A lot of my works are self-portraits in which I explore construction of my own identity.“
In Transgression, the artist manipulates his medium to unearth new and unexpected creative destinations, while exploring the fragility and resilience of his subjects.
Lutaaya composes numerous portraits, often referenced from photos of himself as a child, which he feels distorts and constructs reality. “I construct these portraits from a few photographic images and from memory. The photographic images are merely references as I add my own realities, emotions, twists, movement and angles when constructing images”.
Lutaaya (born 1985) holds a BFA with Education from the Kyambogo University in Kampala, Uganda. He presently lives and works in Johannesburg, which he considers home.
* The exhibition closes on August 31.
Artspace is situated on 1 Chester Court, 142 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood, Rosebank.
Gallery hours are from Tuesdays to Fridays, 10am to 5.30pm; and on Saturdays from 10am to 3.30pm.