Gonçalo Mabunda was born in 1975, in Maputo, during the civil war in Mozambique (1975 -1992). Having been a witness to this violence during his childhood, he first took part in the social reconstruction of his country by working on a project whose mission was to exchange weapons for farming tools. Later, he decided to become a memory artist.
In 1998, he became a messenger for the Nucleo studio, an art collective made up of a group of seven young sculptors and the epicenter of art in Maputo. There he met a South African sculptor, Andries Botha, who he followed to Durban for several months in order to complete his metal and bronze work training. When he returned to Mozambique, he joined the project Arms into Art, a project run by a Mozambican Christian organization that transforms weapons into art pieces.
A self-taught artist with a mission to denounce the absurdity of war, he uses old and abandoned weaponry that he transforms to create thrones, masks and totems. Kalashnikovs, rockets, guns and bullets decorate his creations.
His work is exhibited in numerous museums around the world, including the Centre Pompidou, during the famous Africa Remix exhibition in 2005, the Museum of Art and Design, the Brooklyn Museum in New York, the National Museum of Maputo in Mozambique and the Vatican Museum. His work also features in many collections, including one of his works that adorns former US President Bill Clinton’s office.
Light at the End of the Tunnel, 2015,
Recycled weapons and metal,
120 x 120 cm,