Normative Positioning

01.02 – 09.03.2013


Galerie Mikael Andersen is pleased to present a new solo show by Mustafa Maluka. The exhibition presents a series of new works by Mustafa Maluka that each unfolds intense and attentive portraits that reflect the relationship between identity and coping mechanisms.


With the title of the exhibition Normative Positioning Maluka claims a central theme for the modern subject in how the individual is positioned. With the portraits Maluka is pinpointing the identity of the subject questioning how identity is located and how the subject is constructed in relations. At the same time he clarifies how the individual is maintained in relations and thus how the subject develops coping mechanisms in the social sphere. 


The portrait as a genre has changed over the past millennium from focusing on an idealized procedure to an individualization of the subject and a distortion in the manufacture of individuals in the modernism. In art history there is a long tradition regarding the production of portraits and Maluka takes this tradition to a current and relevant level. At the same time there is an aesthetic link between Malukas portraits of modern women and the Madonna portraits from history.


Malukas portraits typically have their starting point in everyday media such as magazines, advertisements or old photographs that attract the artist´s attention. Then he selects, compose and transfer to a quaint expression on the canvas. The portraits are emerging of several layers of paint and color splashes on the canvas and the background supports the intensity in the works through different patterns and colors. This also makes the creation a reflection of the subject's many layers, possible constructions and coping ability.


Mustafa Maluka was born in 1976 in Cape Town, South Africa, where he also grew up. In his youth he lived in Amsterdam. Here he studied at De Ateliers art institution and the University of Amsterdam. Maluka received in 2004 the Tollman Award for Visual Arts and has exhibited in Asia, Europe, USA and South Africa.