The theme of his work is xenophobia and immigration – issues that are familiar to the Zimbabwean-born artist. His colourful and evocative oil paintings are a stark and painful reminder of the sad experiences African immigrants encounter in their host countries.
RONALD MUCHATUTA / The African Immigration Series, No. 6 – Kneel
Because of the increase in xenophobic attacks since 2008, Ronald Muchatuta felt compelled to rely on a familiar symbol for this condition — the blue, red and white checked print that is associated with Chinese carry-all bags. The pattern of this bag has appealed to artists and fashion designers wishing to unpack other patterns of behaviour tied to the design: Zimbabwean artist Dan Halter, Nobukho Nqaba in her Unomgcana photo series and Dennis Chuene, of the Vernac fashion and accessory label. In Muchatuta’s expression, the print found its way on to the bodies of his female subjects, operating like a skin and demonstrating the way in which the migrant status had become inseparable from the person and the Zimbabwean identity.