Stroom Den Haag kicks off the new cultural season on Saturday 4 September with the opening of the exhibition 'my hero is always next to me' by Neo Matloga. The South African artist is known for his monochromatic collages that are both intimate and political. With a selection of smaller works — consisting solely of portraits — he invites visitors to actively and curiously engage in a personal viewing experience.
Political, personal and universal - this is how Neo Matloga's work can be characterized. Matloga was born in South Africa a year before the official end of apartheid (1994). In his collages he reworks images of his world, sometimes opting for intimate, joyful everyday moments between individuals, and sometimes for public, iconic and generally known imagery. Stories of love and belonging can exist in stark contrast to the ever-persistent reality of a society characterised by colonialism and racism. A tension that can always be felt in his work.
Matloga's search for new imaginations is a combination of choreography, composition, and creative intuition. The visual material from media, magazines, photo albums and soap operas is distorted and painted over with ink, paint and liquid chalk. By cutting, tearing and building up different layers and stories, new connections are always created between past, present and future
In this exhibition, Matloga chooses a new approach that differs somewhat from the large monochrome works on canvas which many know. The work that is bought by the Hartwig Art Foundation and donated to the Dutch State, is the result of a for Matloga new experimental practice of collage on canvas. With the selection of smaller works — consisting solely of portraits — he shifts the scale, inviting the public to make active viewing also a personal and intimate experience.
The exhibition by Neo Matloga is the first of three presentations in collaboration with the Hartwig Art Production | Collection Fund and is also made possible by the Mondriaan Fund, BankGiro Loterij Fonds and the City of The Hague.