“In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different. This encourages me to always follow my heart no matter what. I will never follow society’s standards and norms because they do not define me. My works represent my character and lifestyle.”
Denis Mubiru’s vibrant, expressionistic works narrate the personal and the public life stories of everyday Africans. Chaotic, raw and colourful, Denis’s style encapsulates a gritty examination of contemporary urban African issues: economic inequality, human rights, social stratification, the environment and evolving personal relationships.
Denis, a graduate of Nkumba University, intertwines his vivacious, almost garish use of colours with raw brushstrokes to convey the overwhelming chaos of life. He is an explorer of contemporary Africa: his visual texts spark dialogue about what it truly means to be here. His imagery is potent: mixing the abstract with the obvious and thereby creating a forceful story expressed on canvas.
Born and raised in Kampala, Uganda, Denis’s paintings are often an exploration of Africa in transit: whether it be on a micro scale, by taking a kamunye or on a macro scale, with emerging economies. Denis’s interest in transportation, both physical and psychological, is evident in his art, creating works dedicated to Kampala’s Matatu (motorbike taxi) culture.
His imagery of transit, the vehicles, the luggage, the people, the movement, is all indicative of our need to constantly be in motion, a state that he ascribes to contemporary Africa in particular.
Denis has participated in numerous exhibitions both in Uganda, other countries in Africa and abroad. He is swiftly developing a strong following and collectors base who are expecting exciting things from this young and talented artist.
Born in 1988, Mubiru graduated in 2012 with Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art from Nkumba University in Entebbe. In 2015 he completed his postgraduate diploma in Education with Art. He was an artist in residence at 32° East/ Uganda Arts Trust in 2015. His recent group exhibitions include „Young Guns“ at Circle Art Gallery in Nairobi in 2017, „Eroticism and Intimacy: Paths, Faces and Places“ at Underground in Kampala in 2016, „Kampala Contemporary“ at Circle Art Gallery in 2016. His solo show „Kampala Yange“ was shown at 32° East/ Uganda Arts Trust open studios. He also participated at festivals in Kampala such as LaBa! Arts Festival, Bayimba International Festival of Arts and KLA’ ART 014 and showcased at the Johannesburg Art Fair in 2016.
“Conversations expressed freely ignite my work.With my father I used to engage in social life, politics, football, leisure, love, women and most of all the future and if I cannot have these with him anymore I would rather have this surreal reality of my environment possibly through my audience or out in the public as „the private becoming public’’.”