The spiritual and authentic approach to the art of Cassi Namoda
Although she had no formal training (she briefly studied cinematography at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco), painting felt natural to her. Growing up, Namoda said, she painted on and off, falling in love with pigments and paint. A sequel of his early paintings – naive watercolors inspired by his “unrequited love” for the island of Mozambique, a UNESCO-protected town renowned for its Portuguese colonial architecture – would lead to his first exhibition and establish some of the themes and motifs that would become at the heart of his practice: family, culture, worldliness and color. The work itself, however, has evolved considerably: works on paper have been replaced by oil and acrylic on large-scale canvases; the palette is more vibrant; the most refined brushstroke.
Africa has retained a special hold over the mind and imagination of Namoda, not only its cities, but also its villages. “There is a cadence in rural Africa in which I am able to see God, if I want to be absolutely spiritual about it all – because for me painting is spiritual,” she said, remembering the calm and fragrant tea plantations. from Gurúè, the village in northern Mozambique where his grandfather was born. “Even the most beautiful seaside resorts or the fanciest hotels in Tuscany cannot replace this feeling. I appreciate beauty in every way possible, but I think there has to be a quality of earth for me to be truly completely moved, and quality of earth cannot be bourgeois to me.