George Lilanga – Maliza dawa yote kwenye kibuyu itakusa idia

Lilanga’s art—animated by a keen sense of social critique and caricature—illustrates the continuity of artistic vision among the Makonde and its renewal in the context of the present day. His playful figures are best understood as heirs to the Makonde shetani, the unruly spirits of Makonde cosmology. His paintings can be compared to the Makonde ujamaa (tree of life), which signifies unity and solidarity. At the same time, the vibrant inventiveness of Lilanga’s work also testifies to the profound revolution that marked the birth of individualization and personal talent in Africa.

  • George Lilanga – Maliza dawa yote kwenye kibuyu itakusa idia (finish all the medicine in the gourd will kill you)
  • Enamel paint on Masonite
  • 62×62 cm (HxW)
  • 24,5×24,5 inches (HxW)
  • Year: 1993-1995

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George Lilanga – Maliza dawa yote kwenye kibuyu itakusa idia

George Lilanga’s colourful artworks underscore a whimsical evolution from traditional Makonde art, which is the source of the shetani fantastic creatures depicted in virtually all of Lilanga’s paintings and sculptures. While, traditionally, Makonde sculptors choose the finest woods for their pieces and would frown upon painting over the woods’ natural textures, the bright enammel multi-colour painting technique pioneered by George Lilanga gives his pieces a more contemporary aesthetical appeal and a unique style that has made them popular with collectors and art dealers. As a result, George Lilanga became a reference in african art and enjoyed considerable commercial success in the latter part of his life; prices for his pieces were further boosted after his death in 2005.

George Lilanga
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