MATERIAL: Metal
TYPE: Mask
DIMENSIONS: (1) Untitled (Mask) 36 1/2 x 15 1/2 x 6in (92.7 x 39.7 x 15.2cm) (2) Mercenary of Power 19 1/8 x 13 1/4 x 7 3/4in (48.5 x 33.6 x 19.6cm) (3) Chief of Chief 43 x 21 x 8 1/2in (109.2 x 53.3 x 21.59cm)
COMPONENTS: Welded steel and deactivated weapon parts.
NOTES: Property from the collection of Richard Harris. Provenance - Jack Bell Gallery, London
ITEM ID: 5558
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Gonçalo Mabunda – Group of 3 Masks

DATE
Year: 2012
Decade: 2010s
Century: 21st (2001-2100)

(1) Untitled (Mask)

(2) Mercenary of Power

(3) Chief of Chief

ARTISTS
Name: Gonçalo Mabunda
Type: Artist
Born In: Maputo, Mozambique
Artists Dates: 1975-
Artist Information: Gonçalo Mabunda is a Mozambican artist whose art practice utilizes weapons collected and deactivated by the Christian Council of Mozamique (CCM) following the devastating civil war that lasted almost twenty years. To date, 800,000 guns have been collected by the CCM. Mabunda draws on the collective memory of his country, Mozambique, which has only recently emerged from a long and terrible civil war. He works with arms recovered in 1992 at the end of the sixteen-year conflict that divided the region.   In his sculpture, he gives anthropomorphic forms to AK47s, rocket launchers, pistols and other objects of destruction. While the masks could be said to draw on a local history of traditional African art, Mabunda’s work takes on a striking Modernist edge akin to imagery by Braque and Picasso. The deactivated weapons of war carry strong political connotations, yet the beautiful objects he creates also convey a positive reflection on the transformative power of art and the resilience and creativity of African civilian societies.   Mabunda is most well known for his thrones. According to the artist, the thrones function as attributes of power, tribal symbols and traditional pieces of ethnic African art. They are without a doubt an ironic way of commenting on his childhood experience of violence and absurdity and the civil war in Mozambique that isolated his country for a long period.   Mabunda was born in 1975, in Maputo, Mozambique. Recent exhibitions include the Gangwon International Biennale, South Korea, "All the World’s Futures" at the 2015 Venice Biennale, "Making Africa" at the Vitra Museum, Germany, and "Africa Now: Political Patterns" at the Seoul Museum of Art among others. His work has been acquired by the Chazen Museum of Art at University of Wisconsin-Madison, Minneapolis Institute of Art and the Brooklyn Museum.