"Africans are masters at the art of façade. We change our outfits and our accents to suit the occasion; we attach strings of titles to our names to make sure people know who we are. My work is about the tension between these personas and the reality that lies beneath them. It is an exploration of contradiction, of the countless paradoxes that are ever visible in our every day lives: tradition and modernity; generosity and greed; vitality and death.
My paintings and woodcuts are of familiar images of people, objects and animals, but my style is conceptual rather than realistic. It follows the tradition of Indigenous Expressionism, pioneered by Ugandan artists, which draws on ancestral heritage, childhood memory and the subconscious. Using symbols and patterns, I invite my audience to question conventional notions of such themes as beauty, wealth and power.
I use a multitude of media and materials in my work, incorporating new textures and patterns with everything from textiles to glitter to create contrast. My goal is an effect that is at once startling and smooth, mysterious and generous, like the landscapes and people of my homeland."
Since he arrived on the Ugandan art scene in 2001, Daudi has become one of Kampala's premier artists. His work is collected widely by art aficionados in Denmark, the United Kingdom and the United States, to name a few, and it hangs in embassies, companies and five-star hotels around Kampala.
Recently, Daudi has been at the forefront of a new movement to promote Ugandan art inside and outside the country. This year, he co-founded START, a journal of arts and culture that is the first ever publication of its kind in Uganda. He is a founding member of the Kampala Arts Trust, a coalition of artists and art appreciators in the country and elsewhere who are working toward the dream of establishing a modern art museum in the country. It will facilitate research, exchange programs and training as well as offering a state-of-the-art exhibition space for local works.