Troy Makaza’ surreal works, woven from painted silicone strings, inhabit the space on both side of painting and sculpture, creating a threadlike spider web. His broader examination of the fluid and in-flux relationships between the sexes in contemporary Zimbabwe bound together powerful metaphors for social and intimate spaces, where traditional values and liberal attitudes are no longer assured.
At 24 years old Makaza has been active internationally for a number of years. Having been mentored by artists such as Wycliffe Mundopa, Moffat Takadiwa and Gresham Tapiwa Nyaude, as well as First Floor Gallery Harare, since leaving art school, Makaza, is perhaps the purest case study of an emerging contemporary artist from Africa whose practice has never had to conform to any external ideology or imported idea of Africa in any way to succeed. While he trained like most of his peers at the National Gallery Visual Art studio in found object sculpture and rudiments of painting, he opted to invent his own medium, which spoke more closely to his culture as a young Hararean in the 21st century, as much in tune with international hip hop hits as he is with traditional Zimbabwean lore. Through experimentation, Makaza came up with silicone infused with ink and paint, which he is able to mould, paint, weave and sculpt. In his recent works, Troy has reflected on the cataclysmic events of November 2017, which saw the end of the 37-year rule of Robert Mugabe and the interplay between the military and people’s peaceful protest in bringing about the change. While abstract, his works pick up on and merge the colours of military fatigues and those of every day clothing as ruminations on what it meant and what it will mean for Zimbabwe going forward.