‘Man with the Hat’ is a multifaceted art project by Ugandan artist Daudi Karungi including original paintings on canvas, graphically illustrated pop art and life sized sculpture.
The project researches the importance and significance of wearing a hat. In life we see politicians, religious icons, law enforcers, musicians, professors, doctors, DJ’s and more wearing hats; but what does it mean?
Karungi believes that people who wear a ‘hat’, in the metaphorical sense, stand out for who they are: either from the inside - their heart, character and soul - or with their physical presence and attitude.
There are three 'phases' to the project, the first being a collection of original paintings on canvas of people wearing hats. These portraits convey characteristics of people whose faces the artist paints from memory.
The second ‘phase’ of ‘Man With a Hat’ is the ‘Pop Art Edition’ and is a conscious effort to address visual arts as a popular culture in Uganda. After taking photographs of friends on his phone at gatherings, Karungi digitally manipulated each photograph to produce brightly coloured, graphically enhanced portraits of his subjects wearing a hat. These 50 exciting pieces are also available to view on the Art Space on the Orange Lifestyle website orange.ug/lifestyle, where they will remain for one month; during this period the public can vote, via the 32° East Facebook page facebook.com/ugandanartstrust, for their favourite portrait. One of the voters will be selected at random to win their own Pop Art portrait by Karungi.
In the final phase of 'Man with a Hat' we meet 'Mr. DJ', a lifesize sculpture of a Dj at work. ‘Mr. DJ’ will be placed outside popular nightclubs and bars and will be seen wearing different necklaces communicating different messages. By exhibiting ‘Mr. DJ’ around Kampala’s nightspots, Karungi aims to appeal to the urban youth culture and demonstrate art as a powerful social and political tool.
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