Known to many as Adam, he is Mahungu in western Africa.

 

The story of ‘the first man’ has various interpretations and depictions across cultures and sects. In his paintings, Amado Alfadni subverts the rendition of Adam’s story imported to Africa from western theology, and extends that to challenge the conventional presentation of virtuous figures throughout history.

Hailing from Sudan, the artist is notably inspired by the African identity which forms part of his own. He is particularly intrigued by their spiritual beliefs which weave their way into his rebellious work that offers a different depiction of the holy.

He borrows the body language found in European Renaissance paintings but seeks to eliminate the obvious preference to depict the saintly as white-skinned Roman figures.

True to his usual themes, Alfadni stirs up the subjectivity of historical narratives. It is in very few historical records that a person of color was depicted with high status in western art.

He retells the narrative through his African figures crowned with auras, inviting the viewer to see the virtuous and the holy through an unprejudiced lens. The work is presenting the other story, daring to introduce ‘l’Autre’ Mahungu.