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“My art was born out of depression and frustration.”

Chadrack Makano: The Intertwining of Visual and Literary in Art

Chadrack Makano is a Congolese-origin artist who has gained distinction, having been born in the year 2000. He currently resides in Uganda, where he has found refuge as a result of his tumultuous homeland. Makano’s love for art was apparent from an early age of four, demonstrating a deep connection with this form of expression.

The year 2018 marked a pivotal turning point in Makano’s life and artistic career. The tragic loss of his parents to the ravages of civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo profoundly impacted him. This profound grief and the emotional turmoil that ensued became a catalyst for his art. His creations became a therapeutic outlet, a poignant echo of his internal struggles, born out of a maelstrom of depression and frustration.

Haunted by his past and uncertain of his future, Makano found himself grappling with a rebellious present. An undercurrent of fear suffused his existence, even propelling him, at times, to the brink of despair, contemplating suicide. Yet, in this darkness, he discovered an unanticipated strength and purpose.

He began to perceive the world around him as a society in dialogue, a ceaseless discourse of myriad voices. Interpreting his role within this conversation, Makano felt a profound sense of duty to respond, to participate in this communal exchange. His art became his voice, an eloquent response to the narrative of society.

Makano’s journey reveals a transformation, from a bereaved son to an empowered artist, channeling his personal experiences and emotions into a powerful visual language. His art, while born from personal tribulations, resonates universally, becoming a testament to resilience and the enduring power of creative expression.

Amplifying Voices through Bold Statements

Chadrack Makano draws profoundly from the rich well of his personal experiences to communicate his worldview. His chosen medium of expression is art, for it allows him to transcend the limitations of conventional language, providing a canvas where his insights can manifest visually. Words, whether written or read, translate into vivid images in Makano’s mind, thereby intertwining the visual and the literary in his work.

Makano’s artistry is not just an aesthetic pursuit, but a powerful form of social commentary. His creations are more than mere illustrations—they are bold statements, addressing potent societal issues. They speak truth to power, challenge pervasive stereotypes, and provide a platform for those whose voices have long been suppressed or censored. In his work, Makano amplifies the whispers of the marginalised and brings to light the stories that often languish in the shadows.

In terms of stylistic definition, Makano’s artistry defies typical categorization. His work is a unique blend of painting and writing—an unusual, yet captivating fusion of visuals and prose. Exploring themes of identity, his artistic language weaves a narrative that traverses the territories of life and death, raising poignant questions about our existence.

Makano’s workspace mirrors his ethos: minimalistic yet equipped with everything essential to his creative process. He believes in maintaining an environment free from external distractions or undue influences, in order to allow his creativity to flourish untamed and undiluted.

When it comes to artistic influences, Makano’s primary source of inspiration comes from within. He is an artist who draws strength from his introspective journeys, his experiences, and his unique perspective on life. He is his own muse, constantly evolving, questioning, and challenging himself in his quest for artistic expression. Through his work, Chadrack Makano has crafted a distinctive identity in the world of art—an identity that resonates with authenticity and resonates with the experiences of those his art represents.

Chadrack Makano’s “Untitled (OH MY GOD)”: A Time Capsule of Personal History

Each creation that springs from the prodigious mind of Chadrack Makano is steeped in profound significance, providing a lens into his deeply personal narrative. Central to this repertoire is his evocative piece, “Untitled (OH MY GOD)”. This artwork serves as a symbolic time capsule, capturing the critical juncture of Makano’s adolescence.

The piece bears the imprints of his seventeenth year, teetering on the brink of his eighteenth—a transformative period in the artist’s life. Intriguingly, these numbers, 17 and 18, are deftly incorporated into the visual tableau, appearing in the eyes of the depicted figure. Far from being mere artistic flourishes, these numerical elements denote the tumultuous period when Makano found himself in a state of dislocation. The artist, then a teenager, embarked on a harrowing journey from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Uganda, propelled by the tragic loss of his parents in a civil war.

Further deepening the narrative complexity of the artwork, a set of cryptic characters—numbers and a letter—can be discerned on the right cheek of the figure. A trio of characters, 13, ‘o’, 7, upon closer inspection, reveal an alphabetic cipher. When repositioned, they form the acronym ‘OMG’, a popular abbreviation for the phrase ‘Oh My God’. This acronym not only stands as the title of the artwork but is also emblematic of the artist’s reaction to the disorienting and traumatic experiences of his youth.

The beauty of Makano’s “Untitled (OH MY GOD)” lies in its layers of symbolic meaning. It is more than just a reflection of the artist’s personal history; it is an embodiment of his resilience and adaptability in the face of life-altering circumstances. Through his work, Makano invites his audience to traverse the emotional landscapes of his past, offering a poignant narrative of displacement, survival, and the human spirit.

Aspirations and Dedication to Refining His Craft

Chadrack Makano’s choice of medium for painting and creating art was initially influenced by financial limitations. With little resources at his disposal, he had to explore affordable options to express himself artistically. As a result, he resorted to using ink on papers as a medium for his art. Over time, Makano’s talent and dedication to his craft became apparent, and he has since transitioned to using acrylic and ink on canvas, which have elevated the quality of his work.

Makano’s aspirations for the future reflect his desire to amplify his voice and gain greater recognition for his art. He envisions himself being represented by the prestigious UNIT LONDON gallery, a goal that inspires him to push the boundaries of his creativity and continue refining his skills. Makano’s dedication to his craft and his commitment to improving his art is evident in his work, which continues to captivate audiences and earn him accolades in the art world.

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