Mustafa Maluka – Disembedded

Galerie Mikael Andersen, Copenhagen, Denmark
25 Sep 2015 - 31 Oct 2015

Mustafa Maluka – Disembedded

Mustafa Maluka, Misanthrope (detail) , 2015, acrylic and oil on canvas, 61 x 46 cm, courtesy of Galerie Mikael Andersen

Galerie Mikael Andersen announces the opening of the exhibition Disembedded with new works by South African artist Mustafa Maluka, Friday the 25th September 2015, 5-7pm.

Mustafa Maluka’s intense, large-scale portraits reflects on the relationship between identity and cultural positioning mechanisms in modern society. The works show anonymous figures and focus on how identity is localised and how subjects are constructed in relation to the Other.

The title Disembedded refers to the way in which our contemporary social interactions can no longer be defined fully in terms of their ’embedded-ness’; it is becoming more and more arbitrary to refer to social interactions with regards to the ’local contexts’ of restricted spaces and times. The context has been eliminated and relations can stretch over increasing expanses of time and space. A local experience or event can be impacted by a process occurring on the other side of the world and vice versa. In addition, these processes are mainly impersonal and abstract.

Mustafa Maluka’s paintings draw on elements of the painting traditions deriving from all the cultures that make up his multinational family history. The portraits in Disembedded reflect on the recursive interactions the artist has with the art histories of Africa, Asia, Polynesia and Europe which make up his own family history. The colours and patterns of the background create a sharp contrast in comparison to the vast, almost monumental, passivity of the portrayed figures.

The works in Disembedded relate to portraiture’s long history but Maluka takes it into a contemporary context where the idealised face is replaced with the distorted features of modernity. The portraits grow out of several layers of paint and splashes of colour, leaving an impression of the creative techniques as well as of the subject’s many layers and construction processes.


Mustafa Maluka (1976) was born in Cape Town, South Africa. He has studied at De Ateliers in Amsterdam as well as the University of Amsterdam. Maluka has exhibited in Asia, South America, Europe, the United States as well as South Africa. He lives and works in Finland.


Opening: Friday the 25th September 2015, 5-7pm.





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