Benon Lutaaya+

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Benon Lutaaya
Johannesburg, South Africa


Benon paints to convey an emotional story, illustrating the fragility of life from his own personal experiences. His art is about capturing the deepest feelings of a subject. To him, it is important to strive to see beyond the surface. He makes a conscious effort in all his work to capture the core essence of the subject matter so as to reveal something more important, something real, hidden by society’s unwritten rules.Through his work, he finds expression for emotions shared by many, especially those living on the fringes of the mainstream society. The abstract imagery in his work represents the act of survival while the text, often obscure, stresses questions of identity within society. Out of these mixtures comes a release of energy imbued with life and raw simplicity.

Benon chooses textures to match the painterly play of light and shadows. This allows for a three-dimensional effect on a flat surface, as well as enhancing rich colors and contrast. His work is constantly evolving. “I enjoy coming up with something new and unique. I love to surprise myself. When people see my work though, I would like them to enjoy each piece for its color harmony, pleasing visual appeal and the ability to connect and communicate” he says.


Benon Lutaaya is a 26-year-old emerging Ugandan artist born in Kampala. He holds a BFA with Education. He started his professional career in 2009. At present, he lives and works in South Africa. He’s a full time artist based at the Bag Factory Artists’ Studios – Newtown, Johannesburg.

He’s a talented collage artist as well as a painter. He draws inspiration for his work from his own life experiences and focuses on the concept of survival, and the importance and fragility of one’s life. He uses younger subjects in his works, and shows great depth in emotion. Life, beauty, and character all come vivid in his often powerful, colorful and provocative paintings.

Benon has participated in a variety of group exhibitions in South Africa, Uganda, and abroad. His work is already in a number of private collections in South Africa, Europe, Canada, as well as in the public collection of Ellerman House, Cape Town.

He is a selected artist for the Thupelo International Artists Workshop 2012. He won the Ithuba Arts Fund grant in September 2011 in Johannesburg. He was also an International Artist in residence at the Bag Factory Artists’ Studios in Newtown, Johannesburg in 2011. He was selected amongst the only 12 artists on the African continent whose artworks and profiles feature in the DSTV/Multichoice Calendar for 2012.

He has been featured in many art magazines and media including, Collagista magazine in France, Casscan Foundation community newspaper in the UK, African Elegancy magazine in Kampala, BBC TV world service, SABC3, and Summit TV.

Benon is actively involved in a variety of artists’ initiatives in Johannesburg. He has experience working with vulnerable children both in Uganda and in Johannesburg.


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Black Beauty

Abandoned To Its Fate