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The Broke Beautiful Land


The Broke Beautiful Land Collage

Matt Kayem


Collage, Acrylic on Other

Size: 24 W x 36 H x 1 D in

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About The Artwork

Africa is blessed with a favorable climate, flora and fauna but in other people’s eyes, it Is a land of extreme poverty. And who is to blame for African contemporary (conceptions of) poverty? Is it the white man who colonized the continent and perpetuates semi-colonial trade relations? Is it the Western system that he introduced to the African continent that renders it impoverished? Is it the African politicians known for their corrupt and greedy nature? Or is Africa itself the problem? Owing to the fact that we might not have the sense of urgency to create wealth since everything seems rosy around us. Food grows in our backyards. The weather contributes to a laid back atmosphere and the misconception that everything is fine. The artwork tries to question the status quo. What pulls Africa’s pockets dry? What creates Africa’s impoverished image? Who decides what poverty looks like? Patches, empty pockets, holes are symbols developed and combined to represent bankruptcy and impoverishment. The work is also representative of my style, namely Afro pop. My overall aim is to merge African and Western popular aesthetics, and explore existing representations of Africa while aiming to generate a new African image.

Details & Dimensions

Collage:Acrylic on Other

Original:One-of-a-kind Artwork

Size:24 W x 36 H x 1 D in

Shipping & Returns

Delivery Time:Typically 5-7 business days for domestic shipments, 10-14 business days for international shipments.

Matt Kayem is a Ugandan contemporary visual artist. Born Michael Matthew Kayiwa on 5th June 1991 to a retired teacher and a retired mid-wife in the small town of Mityana, 60 kilometres from the capital Kampala. Both his parents owned a bookstore right in the heart of the town which meant that the young Michael would be introduced to writing and drawing at an early stage. He started kindergarten school in a local school in Mityana and his drawing skills were evidently good even at that stage. He attended Budo Junior School for his primary education, a traditionally prestigious school and continued to Mengo Senior School for his secondary level. At Mengo Senior, he took on art as a subject right from senior one. After his secondary school, he joined Michelangelo College of Creative Arts, Kisubi. After three years at the art school, he attained a certificate and diploma in art and design in October 2015. He has exhibited at the Makerere art gallery in a group exhibition dubbed “My Art, My Life”. This was immediately after graduation from art school in November-December 2015. He was one of the selected artists to perform at the Laba Arts Festival on 11th June 2016 where he did a live painting performance. Matt Kayem opened up his first solo exhibition on 22nd July 2016 at Under Ground gallery. The exhibition was titled “Pop-Rap-Hip”. Matt Kayem is one of the artists showed at the 2nd edition of the Kampala Art Biennale in September 2016. Kayem recently showed in a group exhibition at the Nommo gallery in a show dubbed “The East African Connect” which ran from 14th October to 30th October 2016. In April 2017, he was part of ‘Ekifananyi kya Muteesa”, a group exhibition at the Makerere art gallery. He is currently an artist in residency at 32 degrees East, Ugandan Arts Trust, a centre, only one of it’s kind in Uganda that nurtures contemporary artists. Matt Kayem is a full time visual artist that applies his skills in painting, sculpture, installation, performance, graffiti and photography. He works and lives in Kampala, Rubaga road. Statement I’m interested in aesthetics and it’s complex and sometimes peculiar relationship with our living, money and art. Pop culture also intrigues me and I merge it with relating themes like power, fame, death, religion, relationships and others. Sometimes I play an activist role and add politics and racism to my work. I express my hopes, dreams, desires and my perspective on the human experience in my work.

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