Meleko Mokgosi

Meleko Mokgosi

Bread, Butter, and Power

by Erica P. Jones

Published by: University of Washington Press

56 pages, 203.00 x 305.00 mm, 25 color illus.

  • ISBN: 9780990762676
  • Published: May 2020



Botswana-born Meleko Mokgosi is an emerging contemporary artist whose large-scale figurative paintings are garnering growing accolades and attention worldwide. In all his work, Mokgosi emphasizes narrative storytelling. This approach inspires the viewer to think deeply about the politics, power structures, and role of history in the creation of independent nations of southern Africa. Mokgosi organizes his episodic painting cycles like chapters in a book. “Bread, Butter, and Power” forms a chapter in his current series, “Democratic Intuition,” which seeks to explore the many ways democratic concepts influence life, love, and relationships.

This monograph, with an essay by the exhibition’s curator, discusses and contextualizes “Bread, Butter, and Power,” illustrating it fully and including gatefolds that allow the reader to see how the cycle is intended to be presented and experienced. Mokgosi’s work is especially important now, because he is among a small group of individuals giving voice to the generation that grew up in the post-1960s euphoria of independence. Mokgosi seeks to illustrate many untold experiences of southern Africa, drawing imagery from South Africa, Namibia, and Botswana.