Geoffrey Mukasa (Ugandan, 1954-2009)
Seven Faces, 2000
Signed ‘Mukasa 00’ (lower left)
Mixed media collage
44.5 x 63.5 cm
Sold Ksh 410,900
Provenance: private collection of Klaus Betz
Geoffrey Mukasa was born in 1954 to one of Uganda’s most prominent doctors. Many people expected him to follow in his father’s footsteps but the murder of his father during Idi Amin’s coup brought drastic changes to his life, when he left Uganda to study art.
Mukasa travelled to India to take a degree in Art at Lucknow University, graduating in 1984. During this time he was greatly inspired by his exposure to European and Indian aesthetic values. He threw himself into his work with vigour, focusing mainly on human relationships with the environment and one another. In the early 1990s, on returning to Uganda, Mukasa became a key figure in the movement to revive cultural life in Kampala. This cultural movement was seen as a unifying force and an inspiration for the nation’s recovery after years of military dictatorship.
Mukasa’s oldest friends said that he started to make collages in his early years as an artist because there were no classic art materials to be purchased in Kampala. It was only later, when art materials were available, that he began to paint large canvasses. He continued however to use paper and found material to create collage works throughout his career.
His work is widely collected and exhibited, and appears regularly at international auctions. Publications include Mukasa Geoffrey – the artist’s life in Uganda, AKA Gallery Kampala published by Maria Fischer, Rose Kirumira, Paul Lubowa and Josephine Mukasa, 2011. In 2017, Circle Art Gallery had a successful solo presentation of Mukasa’s paintings and collage at ArtDubai Modern.