Blantyre hosts nude art exhibition on Thursday

There will be an art exhibition at Ryalls Hotel in Blantyre on Thursday night and the event is expected to feature exclusive nude paint abstracts, mostly the female form, done by artists Bruno Matumbi and Jay Joshi.

According to Efrida Chigwe of Mirage Events, the agency that has organised the exposition, the theme of the exhibition is ‘Nudes of Liberty’ and it is rated 18.

“We want to promote art. The two paint nudes because they find it more expressive,” Chigwe tells Nyasa Times, while quoting French sculptor Auguste Rodin, saying ‘in art, there is no immorality, because art is sacred.”

Adding that art is a measure of how advanced a society is, Chigwe says everyone who appreciates art is invited to the event, which will open at 6:30 to invited guests and 9:00 to the public.

“People should expect something different from this exhibition. Our society is changing and we hope the exhibition can change people’s perceptions towards art, especially this form,” she says.

Matumbi, a lawyer who paints abstract nudes and Joshi, a manager at G4S and a realist, are expected to hold the exhibition online after the event at Ryalls Hotel. 

One of the artists Matumbi

And in a separate interview with Nyasa Times, Matumbi says the exhibition was important to him as an artist because it is will be his first outing while adding he is an artist for art’s sake.

Says Matumbi: “My art does not advocate for anything but art appreciation. That means my art is complete by the time I sign it off, take a few steps back and stare at it. Anything else after that is mere surplusage.”

For the society in general, the artist said the exhibition is significant because since the advent of democracy, Malawi has had to fearlessly face some new things just to keep up with the ever advancing world.

“This exhibition is one of those things. The only difference is that with this exhibition, we are bringing the society back to the basics, stripped of all the clothes that have become our skin so that we can see what lies within, whether a lie or a truth,” he observes.

And commenting on the art industry in the country, Matumbi observes that art in Malawi is fully developed and has been so ever since. He says the only thing that clouds this reality is that the society trails.

“It is art appreciation which is not advanced. By society I include the artists as well. The moment a piece of art is created for the sole purpose of making some money, the point is missed. Art is an end not a means to an end. If the end is money, there is no art but the prostitution of art.

“I don’t mean that art should not be sold but that we should do is let the art come first. The society should also divest itself of the idea that art is solely meant for some NGO-type of purpose. Art is there to serve its own end: to be appreciated,” he further says.
Asked whether Malawi is ready for such art and exhibition, Matumbi states that art is universal culture and it will be hypocritical to say that Malawi is not ready for nude art when the public goes to MuhlakhowaAlomwe and celebrate culture by marvelling with awe at bare chest girls.

“We must remember that it is not in the nature of an African to be full dressed. Look at our history and you will see that the African form has not been a fully covered object.  The appreciation of the beauty of the naked human form does not belong to particular society or a particular stage a society finds itself.”

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