Contemporary Art

Live Auction, 16 February 2019

Contemporary Auction

Sold for

ZAR 477 960
Lot 43
  • Mustafa Maluka; You Say the Things You Think You Have to Say

Lot Estimate
ZAR 200 000 - 300 000
Selling Price
Incl. Buyer's Premium & VAT
ZAR 477 960

About this Item

South African 1976-
You Say the Things You Think You Have to Say
signed and dated '08 on the reverse
acrylic, oil and spray paint on canvas
182,5 by 132,5cm excluding frame


Mustafa Maluka’s vibrant paintings can be described as provocative portraits that aim to analyse contemporary culture and global politics. The large-scale canvases evolve from photographic references, selected for their connecting gaze, and reproduced in the artist’s unique style of bright colours, dynamic mark-making and abstract backgrounds.1

Stripped of their origin and identity, Maluka’s subjects are represented as transnational, racially-ambiguous figures that are celebrated through dense layers of paint and bold patterns. As seen in this painting, Maluka combines traditional portraiture with street culture references in order to detach the image from its original context and charge it with a distinctive personality.

Drawing from his own past growing up in the Cape Flats, the artist aims to use his provocative portraits to comment on the perception of minorities and immigrants in various societies.2

  1. Mikael Anderson. (2008) Mustafa Maluka: The Message, [Online], Available: [7 December 2018].
  2. Stevenson. (2007) Mustafa Maluka: The Interview (a transcript), [Online], Available: [7 December 2018].


Galerie Mikael Andersen, Copenhagen, Mustafa Maluka: The Message, 2 February to 8 March 2008.

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