Artist Lutaaya transcends hardship, identity

ROSEBANK - Artspace will host the opening of a solo exhibition by Ugandan-born, Joburg-based artist, Benon Lutaaya, entitled Transgressions.

Sara Hallett, director of the Bag Factory Artists’ Studios, will open the show. Lutaaya sees this show as his first major solo exhibition in Johannesburg.

Lutaaya said he finds inspiration in his own life experiences and deals with issues 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. 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,” he said.

In Transgressions, the artist manipulates his medium to unearth new and unexpected creative destinations, while exploring the fragility and resilience of his subjects. It is the essence of the human condition to feel emotion, and the challenge of the artist to portray it – something Lutaaya does with the utmost integrity.

The exhibition opens 7 August at 6pm and runs until 31 August at Artspace, 1 Chester Court, 142 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood, Rosebank.

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