Mariane Ibrahim is pleased to announce representation of Ugandan artist Ian Mwesiga.
Elaborate paintings peer into Mwesiga’s ordinary routine. Notice the varied corners of his world framed by architecture and nature. The foreground defines a sense of balance and the backdrop submerges the viewer into an infinite landscape. Surprising dimensionality springs from the artist’s application of vibrant colors such that ordinary perspective is masterfully skewed. The figure stands strong, boldly absorbing the viewer’s gaze, as the obsidian of his skin absorbs light moving the eye meticulously. The artist’s rich panorama color is his stylistic signature.
Mwesiga captures and performs mentally stored scenes. The influences are noteworthy, they allude to classical paintings as well as contemporary practices. Mwesiga’s practice is built around inert topography: the psychological world of his figures, and their placement within the architecture.
The paintings reflect a perpetual obsession with defying perspectives by either replicating or creating his own ratio/composition while preserving a level of lyricism and literacy. The artist chooses a premeditated angle into his scenery. The viewer is often looking through a window, mirror, or picture frame guiding the artist to deliberately alternate and trigger one’s sight. In this light, the liveliness of his subjects is unquestionable--they see and they act.
“I view images as a retrospective, to inform future mentality. I look back, but also into the future, simultaneously. These are the chords that are within the work that one needs to unlock to access my world, a negotiation between the future and past states the painter."
Perhaps that is why time seems illusory in Mwesiga’s paintings, stretching to hold a conglomeration of realities wrapped in one. This ambition began with his interest to achieve an expertise: to match the Renaissance works he was exposed to during his childhood at church, and to hone in on the technique of his contemporary influences.
Smooth and vibrant paint application invites us into a romantic realm. In Mwesiga's world, impenetrable access is granted; subjects are rendered like snapshots on the field of memory. Boundaries between the self and the other melts away, leaving intimate impressions between reality and what we want it to become. His art is preserved in mesmerizing nature.