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Monday, June 13, 2011

"A Italiana" (The Italian Woman): Malangatana's Masterpiece at Auction

Born on the 6th of June 1936 in Matalana, a village of the district of Marracuene, the Mozambican artist Malangatana Valente Ngwenya dedicated an important part of his life to cultural projects with the objective of helping those in need, with special focus on youth.

The early age of Malangatana was outlined by difficult times, with an absent father and a sick mother he went to live with an uncle and started working with eleven years of age.

It's at the house of the biologist, sculptor and painter Augusto Cabral that Malangatana asks to be taugh painting, later continuing to developing his artistic skills with the sponsorship of the portuguese architect Pancho Guedes.
Soon he starts exhibiting his works and in the 70's travels to Portugal with a Gulbenkian's scholarship.

His name his recognized internationaly and his paintings become part of public and private collections worldwide, including museums.

Malangatana, besides painter was also an actor, poet, dancer and musician, and tried his skills on tapesty and sculpture. He was handed the Prince Claus award, attributed the Honoris Causa degree by the Évora university and nominated Artist for Peace, by Unesco in 1997, including other recognitions.

The artist also known by his close friends as "Crocodile" passed away at the age of 74, in the Hospital Pedro Hispano (Matosinhos, Portugal).

But lets talk about "A Italiana" or "The Italian Woman."

The idea was conceived in the end of 2010, when the long-time friends Malangatana and the Ferreira Dos Santos family together decided to develop a project of artistic and cultural value that would serve as a major beneficial social cause.
Unfortunately the artist would not live to assist the auction of his masterpiece.

Celebrating the official launching of FIAT in Mozambique on the 5th of April in Maputo, a brand new white Fiat 500 1.4 Pop painted by Malangatana is being auctioned until 8 p.m. on the 6th July, 2011, Mozambique time (UTC/GMT + 2 h), during a gala to be organized to this effect.
The minimum bid started at 125.000,00 USD, with minimum increments of 2.500,00 USD.
Auction regulations and FAQs are available for consultation.

The proceeds of the auction will be donated to the Malangatana Valente Ngwenya foundation.

Malangatana's latest masterpice, "A Italiana" (The Italian Woman) resulted in a fusion of Italian design and evocative African symbolism, with native and nature-inspired imagery represented through warm colours in a harmonious composition.
Embelishing the car's rear and the dashboard is the artist's signature embossed in aluminium.

The Fiat 500 and the art materials were donated by Tecnica Industrial, a company part of JFS Group.

Top image source: O País newspaper
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