Feedback from Zimbabwe

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Feedback from Zimbabwe

From Josiah Bob Taundi

Published before 2005


I am an untrained artist based in Zimbabwe. I've always thought abstract art, installations, New Media, Conceptual art, etc are done by people who run away from "art" in preference for? words? i.e. assaulting the mind with interpretations and waywardness rather than giving us an "image" so we see for ourselves.

The Zim art scene is very underdeveloped but I've discovered that most of those who do abstracts, mixed media etc cannot truthfully draw the figure or object with a pencil. Modernism to me is mostly about confusing the mind and, sometimes, outright bubblegum. It lacks the power to speak for itself through honest expression, composition and texture. Just look at apparel, cutlery, beauty, strength, landscapes by Old Masters like John Singleton, Carravaggio. They had the patience and honest to make your eye see what they wanted you to see. Their works, to me, have power and durability that resulted from selfless mastery, resilience and hard work - I understand for very little material benefit even. Old masters had the power to convince not confuse.

Had it not been for them I would not, and Mel Gibson too, had this "image" of Jesus or Judas in my mind. I can't remember a face from Modernists, only colours!