Creative Hage Mukwendje treated a group of art enthusiasts to a live painting lesson on Wednesday, while sharing information about the industry, inter alia touching on pricing, inspiration and the duration it takes to paint.
Mukwendje was roped in by the Namibian Arts Association (NAA) to host a workshop on among others his experience in the industry, what it has to offer, and how he, a colour-blind creative, can produce such magnificent art pieces that mesmerize many.
“My inspiration comes from people I see and interact with, so I capture a lot of faces in my mind and that’s what I wanted people to see during this engagement,” he told VIBEZ!
Asked about the use of newspapers, Mukwendje said he is on a path of modernising the craft and not necessarily relying on paint and a brush alone.
“I use newspapers because I want the craft to be sustainable and that is a technique I use, and I don’t just focus on the conventional way of painting,” he shared.Describing painting is a form of expression, he said he is happy to see the interest people have, based on the questions they ask, especially how artists price their work.
Artwork seller and collector Melkidesek Ausiku added that whenever clients ask why pieces are expensive, he always asks them why they want to know, and/or what made them commission the artwork from that specific artist.
“The art industry is still developing in Namibia and the reason for that is because people are not educated enough to value the artist. We have not been educated about putting a value on art pieces. We haven’t been educated to associate the artists’ work as their means of income.”
Art manufacturer Una Ferreira said the issue of value should be a personal journey to realise self-importance, which is something that manifests in work done.
“This is how we value ourselves. I have seen artists who have produced beautiful work, it would hang in the gallery for a very good price and if it doesn’t get bought, it is taken down and stored somewhere,” she said.