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ANA Spotlight: Misheck Masamvu

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In this spotlight series, we interview and showcase artists and their work to our community

Misheck Masamvu explores and comments on the socio-political setting of post- independence Zimbabwe, and draws attention to the impact of economic policies that sustain political mayhem. Masamvu raises questions and ideas around the state of ‘being’ and the preservation of dignity. His practice encompasses drawing, painting and sculpture.

Lips in a Box, 2020
Oil on canvas
160 x 136 cm

What are some of your favourite memories from the past year?
The year 2020, was a difficult year to pull through and it is almost impossible to roll a dice and stumble upon good memories.

What inspires you to create?
The ominous feeling of redundancy to absolve a cause and purpose.

What attracts you to the different mediums you use?
‘The heat under my feet, the taste of salt on my skin, the agonizing pain of watching falling hair’, these ideas are often trapped within the materiality and medium of choice.

Is there a message you try to pass with your art? If yes, what is it?
Follow your heart blindly and trust the ambiguity of our realities.

Ephemeral Space, 2020
Oil on canvas
250 x 300 cm

What is your creative process like?

Organized chaos.


What’s your favourite piece of art you’ve ever created?

The one I realize it was good after destroying it.

What do you do to unwind?

Sometimes, I bite the insides of my mouth because my teeth are semi fixed or I bite the lips to endure the pain of the uncertainty that lays in my path.

What is something you would change in the world if you could  

 ‘BORDERS’ 

Damaged Goods, 2020
Oil on canvas
110 x 94 cm 

Goodman Gallery presents Masamvu’s first solo exhibition in the United Kingdom, Talk to me while I’m eating, an exhibition of abstract colour-rich paintings alongside figurative pencil drawings.

 The exhibition brings a selection of never before exhibited works produced in Harare in 2020 during which the artist continues to unpack the human condition in relation to the natural world.

Masamvu’s brushstrokes exist as remnants of the physical action of painting in which multiple temporalities are included in a single image with several layers of imagery beneath the surface. The outcome is a porous pictorial space, one that moves between representational clarity and abstract abundance.

Masamvu’s multidisciplinary practice explores the socio-political setting of post-independence Zimbabwe. His work draws attention to the impact of economic policies that sustain political turmoil and raises questions around what it means to preserve a state of being with dignity. 

Author

Azeeza Sanni is the General Manager of Art News Africa. She is a graduate of Middlesex University of Mauritius & Monash South Africa. You can reach her with information/requests on mail@artnewsafrica.com.

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