I have always been a super fan of Vladimir Tretchikoff, as a matter of fact I have a huge print of his Balinese Girl hanging in my living room. I am drawn to his exotic women with their slightly off kilter skin tones. Take The Chinese Girl with her blue green skin. One day while minding my own business I stumbled upon the work of Mustafa Maluka and was spell bound. His work was like an updated Modernist version of Tretchikoff, dare I say a new and improved version. The odd skin tones, large portraits, exotic women and more. I wonder if has anything to do with South Africa. Tretchikoff though from Russia painted some of my favorite pieces there and Maluka was raised in the Cape Flats. Cape Town influences or not I did a little side by side comparison for good measure.
From time to time I can also see a little Andy Warhol in Mustafa Maluka’s work. His use of bright bold colors, hair that looks like a wig and painted lips that look separate from the portrait are reminiscent of Warhol’s Ladies and Gentlemen Collection.
Check out more Mustafa Maluka on Flickr and My Space. If the man sold prints I would already have my wallet out. I think Life on the Ropes would look amazing across the room from Balinese Girl.