1674625099 The artist who was born in the center of the

The artist who was born in the center of the world and breaks down prejudices about Africa

African Fantasy Revolution is the concept that Eduardo Malé (Agua Grande, São Tomé and Príncipe, 49 years old) has chosen to develop the works that make up his latest creations. Prints in a variety of colors or just black and white, giant canvases, wire or cement sculptures, and objects made from plant fibers or recycled waste characterize the universe that populates the artist’s imaginary with a calm language and a scrutinizing gaze, like that of a Child and constant admiration for everything that surrounds him.

Under this concept, Malé develops several works. For example a more costumed series like Octopus Fishing on the Gamboa Beach and other more challenging ones like Tell me things with your feet and heads. In this one in particular, he uses the wire he used to design his own toys as a child to make heads and legs. A material that allows him to reflect: “When I work with wire and leave empty spaces, it’s like the emptiness of thought, the emptiness of capacity,” explains the artist, who lives between his land and the city of Ponferrada, in Leon, in an interview with this magazine. “The black man is always accused of thinking little, working little, and these prejudices do not correspond to reality, not because we do not have the capacity to think, but because there is manipulation, an attempt, the thinking of men and African women to condition. She adds. This is why the airheads idea works.

The artist Eduardo Malé works with wire, a material with which he contemplates the void.The artist Eduardo Malé works with wire, a material with which he contemplates the void.Ana María Fernández Barredo

But it doesn’t stop there, it wants to go one step further. “People actually think, that’s why you have to fill in these gaps, gaps, that’s why I chose another topic that’s very important to me,” he continues. “That’s why I work with cement. Sculptures with volume and density because I believe that thinking can lead us to that idea of ​​density, something that elevates you to personal and cognitive development. That’s why I also work with my feet. And cement is a symbol of resilience, of the strength that one must have: solidity to walk. It takes a lot of determination to move forward,” reflects this artist.

Do not forget me. “Sao Tome and Principe are two islands that are lost, despite being in a privileged place at the center of the world, because the Greenwich meridian and the equator line intersect. And yet they are unknown and I want to contribute with my work to make them known,” he affirms.

Likewise, the Sao Tome is a banana republic series does not focus on their home country but with a different nuance. With this work he denounces the idea of ​​white supremacy. “They have to do with the idea that white people who come to the island get whatever they want.” But Malé, who came to Europe to study at university as an African, knows that he has to fight very hard to be known and appreciated as a person and as an artist. “I am not served things on a tray. In Sao Tome and Principe, however, the arrival of a white man, a foreigner, is enough to open all doors. It kills me sometimes, that’s why I think about this topic,” he clarifies.

The poem “Coração em África” ​​by Francisco José Tenreiro determined Malé’s view of Africa

These concerns also led him to explore some of his country’s most important cultural manifestations, such as the Auto de Floripes, a popular festival that is nothing more than an adaptation of the Battle of the Moors and Christians celebrated in the Spanish elevator. After crossing several countries and filtering the local culture, he settled in Príncipe where he has become a sign of the island’s identity. Malé studied them for years and recreated them in his works. This work can soon be seen in an exhibition that is being prepared in cooperation with the University of Alicante.

Sao Tome and Principe shines through in all of this artist’s work. “I think the fact of being born there is something extraordinary and I don’t know how to describe it because I feel lucky to come from an island with such beauty, with such exorbitant nature and with such immense strength to come.”

Because of his political beliefs embodied in art, many of Malé’s works have been censored in Sao Tome and Principe

There is a poem by Francisco José Tenreiro from São Tomé, Coração em África that has greatly influenced Malé’s career. A work that has defined the way he views Africa’s relationship to colonialism or the need for Europeans to dominate Africa. A theme that runs right through the work of this artist. For him, however, the end of colonialism did not end with the withdrawal of the Portuguese from his country. After them came neo-colonialism, which local leaders wrapped themselves in to enrich themselves. Many of his creations denounce these “money hogs”, which has led to some of his works being censored in his home country.

Despite everything, the authorities of São Tomé and surroundings cannot ignore him and Malé coordinated and directed the First Transatlantic Cultural Biennale in Príncipe Island in 2019 because he is an artist who, thanks to his work and exhibitions, makes his country known all over the world. World.

Despite all this, Malé defines himself as “a versatile artist” who cares about his people, his roots and his feelings. “These are issues that concern me and have to do with everything that is on the table today, including the issue of migration. It’s these ideas, these thoughts, that I try to capture in my work,” he admits.

Follow PLANETA FUTURO on TwitterFacebook and Instagram and subscribe to our “Newsletter” here.