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Kateeba Joel

Kateeba Joel
Acrylic

Uganda

Clara Lieu, RISD Adjunct Professor

Clara Lieu
Art Prof & Partner

Artist Statement

As a self taught artist, I started my career out of self discovery at the age of 16 years old. I started with pencil sketches, painting on walls of which later advanced to canvasses.

I chose this media because of the environment where I live. I grew up in the ghetto and slums of Uganda in Africa. So to me, art is a tool of communication where I can use things around me like garbage to attach to every piece of work in order to bring out the real identity of who I am.

I chose Afro paints for the subject of my works because all of the knowledge I use to come up with the pieces originates from Africa the motherland. The term I use, ‘munze’ means ‘within me.’ So every idea I use comes from within my imagination and deep thoughts which drive me to create stories.

I have been working on this new piece that shows the way how girls are mentally tortured after defilement, sexual harassment, and rape. These scenarios happen a lot in Africa, so this is the way I can communicate to the rest of the world.

I have a dream of building an international school of arts. On a land that covers over 15 acres in Africa to mentor young artists to become future leaders and strong pillars to preserve African cultures and other cultures(for those who will be coming from outside Africa) I also want to have branches in every continent, God willing in future.

Lastly, I have a business running already in Africa known as ‘Kateeba Afro Paints Art.’ I offer classes for upcoming artists and it has helped me survive, look after my family and support my siblings.”

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Figure Painting, Kateeba Joel

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