Jenn Singer Gallery presents MOOSH: MOTHERLAND, a debut solo exhibition of new paintings by Gerald Nyamwihura Mushumbusi (a.k.a. MOOSH), born in 1989 at the Source of the Nile, in Jinja, Uganda.
Three fiercely strong women raised MOOSH after he lost his father to AIDS at the age of seven: MOOSH’s mother, a prolific poet, whom he also lost to the disease; his aunt, a professional artist and teacher, who first taught him to draw; and, his grandmother who instilled in him a tenacious work ethic. Each of these women are a constant source of inspiration and motivation to the artist.
A similar trinity of divine feminism emerges in MOTHERLAND, which features three female figures - inspirations central to MOOSH’s upbringing in Uganda before immigrating to the U.S. as a teenager. Most prominent in the exhibition are depictions of Nyabinghi, a synonym for Sekhmet, the Egyptian lioness warrior goddess who is said to have saved humanity by drinking the blood red overflow of the Nile. Nyabinghi is known in Southwestern Ugandan folklore as a dreadlocked spirit who possessed a charismatic healer, Muhumusa, who successfully organized a female led rebellion against colonialism and oppression in the region.
Abstract interpretations of female Kifebwe masks, originally created by the Basonga people of the Democratic Republic of Congo, are also prominent in the show. MOOSH was drawn to Kifebwe masks because they depict the strength and fortitude of women and represent prosperity, good health, fertility and positive energy.
Finally, MOOSH’s Nike, the goddess of victory, appears with golden wings and splashes of red symbolizing a younger version of the female spirit – one that possesses the power of creation, success and protection.