Nkomo, 2014, Oil on Panel, 18x20cm
This painting is distinct in the series of political paintings in that it depicts a deceased, historical politician rather than one in power at the time of making. Joshua Nkomo was an important political leader in Zimbabwe serving as Vice-President for a period, before being forced to flee the country by Mugabe. The technique used in the painting also sets it apart. The black and white pallet refers to the historical nature of the image while the blurred painting method suggests a reference to Gerhard Richter's work. This painting seeks to question the power a painted image can hold over a viewer. While significant in his life time, Nkomo has largely been resigned to history books outside Zimbabwe. His image does not exist in abundance as with the world leaders in this series, ever conspicuous in the media. Does a single painted image (or its reproductions online) alter the general conception of the historic figure in any way? Perhaps the painting may hold sway over a particular viewer, or the experience of this painted image may amount to nothing; Just one more image in an endless flood of visual stimulation.