Gonçalo Mabunda Mozambique, b. 1975

Gonçalo Mabunda (b. 1975, Maputo, Mozambique) was born two years before the commencing of the bloody Mozambican civil war that divided the region for over 15 years and would forever shape his home country and artistic career. Drawing on his country's collective memory and political history, Mabunda works with deactivated weapons retrieved from this long and terrible war, such as rockets, land mines, AK47s, amongst other objects. He then transforms these weapons and war-related materials into furniture or sculptures of anthropomorphic forms, like masks or figures. These masks and figures, - created as an allusion to the local traditional African art and dances - assume a remarkable modernist aesthetic comparable to the images produced by Braque or Picasso.
In the series of imposing Thrones, for which the artist is most famous, Mabunda critically and ironically reflects on his personal childhood experience amongst the violence of the civil war. By combining tribal symbols, artifacts traditionally associated with power, and the weapons used during the war, these Thrones bear solid political connotations and the notion of the transformative power of art.
Art Fairs