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AFRICA (article first published : 2001-02-24)

Africa, an exhibition of paintings, sculptures and drawings by 20-year-old Mozambican artist Viler (birth name Herminio Albino Vilanculos) is on show at the BAT Centre's Democratic Gallery until March 3.

Viler is inspired by Austrian painter and illustrator Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) who he describes as his “master” and “reason for painting”. Producing work that is often described as “European” in style, Viler paints everything he encounters “from nature to cars”. Using acrylics, oils, watercolours, pen and ink, his work is modern and unexpected. It is also full of surprises, abounding with generous colour, tiny motifs/symbols, recurring symbols (birds, fish), peacock feathers and extensive use of gold .

“Love”, says Viler, “is the main theme of the exhibition”.

Although Viler sculpts mostly in wood, he also works with found objects and in other media.Freedom, a work included in the exhibition, is a bird constructed from AK47 parts and cartridges , rising Phoenix-like from the devastation of war.

Despite his youth, Viler's works are included in collections in England, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, South Africa, France, Spain, Holland, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, the United States, Australia, Angola and Mozambique. He is a member of the internationally-renowned and greatly esteemed artists' collective, Nucleo de Artes Maputo-Mocambique. His works are on permanent display at Maputo's National Cultural Directorate, Maputo's Psychiatric Hospital, the conference hall at Mozambique's Commercial Bank and in Norway.




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