Cassi Namoda

Born in 1988 in Maputo (Mozambique)
Lives and works in Los Angeles (USA)

“In African life, from what I’ve observed, we accept that there is no blessing without sacrifice. It’s that fundamental balance that I want to convey in my work.”

Cassi Namoda is a painter and performance artist who explores the intricacies of social dynamics and mixed cultural and racial identity. Capturing scenes of everyday life, from mundane moments to life-changing events, the artist paints a vibrant and nuanced portrait of post-colonial Mozambique within an increasingly globalised world. Created at Namoda’s home studio in East Hampton, Long Island during the 2020 lockdown, Zambeziana remembers Tchaubo tongue offers a reflection on life experience, cultural roots, and mysticism in Africa. The composition stages a figurative portrait of a woman wearing a mask against a background that represents a verdant Mozambican landscape. With a soft colour palette, Cassi Namoda uses pastel colours to contrast with the raw black tone of skin.  The simplification of line and her use of light, pure colours recall the instinctive voice of Fauvism. Namoda deftly captures scenes that have the look of film stills: fleeting snapshots within much larger narratives. Interweaving her own memories and imagination with images from archival photographs and the works of other artists, she leads a fascinating exploration of the cultural specificity of Mozambique.

Zambeziana remembers Tchaubo tongue, 2020
Oil and acrylic on poly-cotton
101,6 × 76,2 cm