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Gabriel Choto (Zimbabwean, born 1995) Unity image 1
Gabriel Choto (Zimbabwean, born 1995) Unity image 2
Thumbnail of Gabriel Choto (Zimbabwean, born 1995) Unity image 1
Thumbnail of Gabriel Choto (Zimbabwean, born 1995) Unity image 2
Lot 4
Gabriel Choto
(Zimbabwean, born 1995)
17 – 25 November 2022, 17:00 GMT
London, New Bond Street

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Gabriel Choto (Zimbabwean, born 1995)

fibreglass, acrylic paint and varnish
140 cm (diam), base: 28 x 137 x 137 cm


In this painting I reference the Brookes diagram which showed how enslaved Africans were positioned on ships from West Africa to the Americas and Caribbean.

People were positioned in a cramped order, way over safe capacities, and head to head. I decided to depict two children who are head to head and holding hands. They are trying to comfort each other in this frightening experience of transatlantic travel.

I'm interested in how this relates to the African diaspora in Britain today. I imagine Echoes in the Present to be the divisive nature of colonial borders which continue to be promoted amongst Black people.

However, in resistance, we are united - like the two children in my piece. We can choose to hold onto each other and be one others' support as we move towards racial justice together.

Gabriel's artwork combines the twin disciplines of printmaking and painting, primarily in oil on paper. Through his singular technique, Choto seeks new pathways into the painted image by taking cues from the surface quality produced by the printmaking process. His evolving, experimental practice involves layering painted areas of naturalism over the delicate compositional architecture of etching, resulting in paintings where physical presence and absence imply a metaphoric liminal state. Sensitive and intimate, these images include close family members, depicting quiet moments of contemplation or affectionate domestic scenes taken from old photographs, progressing into self portraits where through constructed situations the artist examines his own identity. Choto's intimate paintings draw on themes of home, pride, identity and diaspora.

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