Geoffrey Ernest Katantazi Mukasa (Ugandan, 1954-2009)
'Strong fisherman' oil and acrylic on canvas 69.5 x 74.5cm (27 3/8 x 29 5/16in).
PROVENANCE: Acquired directly from the artist A private collection, UK
Geoffrey Ernest Katantazi Mukasa was born in Mulago, in the centre of Kampala, in 1954. As a young man he wanted to become a doctor but the murder of his father during Idi Amin's coup brought many changes to his life, one of which was leaving Uganda to study art instead of medicine. Mukasa went to Lucknow, India, to take a degree in fine arts and during the course of his studies won several prizes, including the All India painting competition.
Returning to Uganda in 1984 he became a graphic artist for the Ministry of Information before fulfilling his ambition to become a full time painter. In the early 1990s Mukasa became a key figure in the movement to revive cultural life in Uganda. Mukasa is seen as a unifying force and an inspiration for the nation's recovery from years of military dictatorship, and served as a model for other Ugandan artists who were either returning from exile or emerging from the shadows at home.
Mukasa's work has been exhibited in India, Germany, Austria, USA, France, Australia, and Africa, including the East Africa Art Biennale 2003 and 2005.