Daniel Maluka is a Toronto based artist and writer hailing from South Africa. His work takes an Afrocentric approach while incorporating surrealist elements. In using his interest in the subconscious, Daniel brings what lurks in the deep recesses of the mind into the forefront of his work.
We asked Daniel what it means for him to be an artist during these challenging times; how has the meaning of the term 'artist' as it applies to him and his work shifted? He responded:
"It is true these are some of the most trying times in recent memory. However, the question implies that now artists have a role to play in alleviating the stress of these difficult times. While this might be true, I think it is also important to remember that artists are just people and as people we are going through theses challenging times as well. Art always has provided us with escapism for the creator and the viewer. The need for that escapism is amplified during a global pandemic and that amplification puts a lot of pressure on artists. The first thing we need to be aware of as artists is that before we serve “the public good” we must make sure to take care of our own wellbeing.
This external pressure is something I have been going through. As a result of this the word artist has shifted for me a great deal. I do not put as much pressure on myself to create. I am still an artist if I don’t produce anything for weeks or months. Before I used to think I had to be consistently producing to call myself one. The times we find ourselves in has shifted my approach and my output, for the better."
Check out more of his work on Instagram at @Danielmalukaart
Pictured below: Daniel's abstract illustration 'Black Rose'
Pictured below: Black and white portrait of Daniel Maluka
Pictured below: Daniel's abstract illustration 'Ballet'