George Lilanga

Born 1934 in Tanzania, George Lilanga began his training as a sculptor in 1961. In 1972 he settled in Dar-es-Salaam and became a core member of the local art scene. Lilanga’s art is filled with playful stylised and contorted figures who are understood to be heirs to the Makonde shetani, the unruly spirits of Makonde cosmology.

As well as being a highly respected artist in Africa, Lilanga exhibited in the United States in the 1970s and 80s. He is regarded as having a strong influence on the American graffiti artists such as Keith Haring who acknowledged Lilanga’s influence on the highly stylised figures that became Haring’s trademark. The work Haloo naku famisha kua yule biuana ampatikana is a fine example of Lilanga’s work from the height of his career.

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George Lilanga

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