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Mikidadi Bush - Tanzania

Mikidadi Bush - Tanzania - SARENCO FOUNDATION
Vanno Moretti, a lover of the great contemporary Western art of the Twenty Century (someone who has gone through Fontana, Burri, Twombly, Hartung and many others) is with me in Dar Es Salaam in these last hot January days. The air is heavy and the district where Mikidadi Bush lives is not the freshest, most welcoming, and clean on in the world.
Bush stright away shows us the paintings he has been working on recently and our surprise is great. Vanno is solemn when he says, "I would compare Lilanga's dancing lightness to Matisse, and Bush's incisive force to Picasso. Don't you agree?".
I like Vanno Moretti because he is still young despite the eighty years which he wears well, because he drinks his Bitter Campari on the rocks before the dinner, because he gambles in casinos, because he loves young women, and above all, because he has a wicked eye for important painting. Yes, it's true: Bush is a unique case of contemporary African art; he deals with ancient themes, such eternal themes as the unknown, magic, what lies deep down, and tribalism, with the same modernity with which the great Western artists of the Twentieth Century dealt with beauty, pain, death, and the wish for eternity, all inherent in the soul of every real artist. Recently I nicknamed him Hieronymus Bosh because of his unquenchable need to bring to life nightmares, those plastic figures that leap brilliantly from the black depths of ancestral night, like Leonardo's Saint John the Baptist.
Bush is the real shaman of contemporary painting. Globalization and monotheist religions have tried to annul man's millennial history and culture in the hope of creating an economic and spiritual single-market which cannot permit deviation and rivalry. Many powerful intellectuals and artists have intervened with their voice, texts, body, and images fished up from the depths of the human soul, in order to reaffirm the beauty of diversity and the richness of Babel. Bush's plastic painting reconciles us to the great themes of life and to those concepts which, weak philosophy permitting, will never eliminate the profundity of humanity's history which consist of challenges to the unknown of to what is for the moment the unknown, and the dark forces of the night of time. Creative man's greatest desire is to become eternal: from the philosopher's stone to magic, less superficial artists have always tried to discover the secret of immortality.