Michael Armitage’s large and lush paintings draw on storytelling, memory, current affairs, popular culture and the historical events of Kenya and East Africa. The artist paints with oil on Lubugo bark cloth – a culturally-significant material of the Buganda people in Uganda. The bark cloth is traditionally used as a burial shroud or in ceremonies. Replete with ripples, stitches and holes, Armitage stretches it across a frame to form the textured surface of his large-scale paintings.
Influenced by the traditions of western art history and the paintings of artists such as Francisco de Goya, Paul Gauguin, Édouard Manet and Titian, his work illustrates the full spectrum of human emotions. Armitage’s paintings reconsider cultural traditions and stereotypes, spinning the exoticising gaze of Western art history into a different direction.
Born in Nairobi in 1984, Michael Armitage lives and works between Nairobi and London
Michael Armitage: The Promised Land
Exhibition Dates: Through September 22, 2019
The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia
140 George St
Sydney NSW 2000