Democratic Intuition, Lerato
When entering the gallery, we are welcomed by a long, wide hallway containing a big painting on the right. Half of this large piece is text in a language unidentifiable to the average American. One could find this frustrating, being in country where we can read practically everything. This seems an intentional move by Mokgosi, a way to say that we do not know everything.
As you walk into the main room there is a door opening to the right that you almost miss seeing. In this small room is a beautifully rendered painting of a South African woman in a chair surrounded by children latching onto her. It alludes to classical portraits of Mary and child, but with a non-European woman. At its center is a large room with only a few pieces on each of the four walls. All the the paintings are rendered beautifully and are intriguing to the eye. There was one more small room in the back that held another painting of a South African women surrounded by children, similar to the painting in the first small room.
There was a lot to take in, in Mokgosi’s exhibit with how the subjects in the portrait engaged each other, but also how the paintings engaged the viewer through the eyes of the subjects starring right back at you.