Missheck Masamvu

Title picture

The Thamgidi Studio Foundation hosted artist Misheck Masamvu for one month in 2007.

From Thamgidi Studio

At the biennale of Dakar, Senegal, in 2006 Thamgidi Studio Foundation (TSF) awarded Mr. Misheck Masamvu with a one month residency in May 2007. He was chosen because of his splendid works, social engagement and the (promising) artist he is. Misheck Masamvu is currently working at the art academy of Munich. We were honoured to have him in the residency of TSF in Arnhem, in the Netherlands.

Misheck was provided mainly with an apartment, studio and stipend. Although a month residency is short, Misheck was able to find his way in this new town and make contact with the local artist community. The works he produced were unmistakably products of his independent mind, social engagement and personal experience.

During this month we got to know Misheck well, and we experienced him as an open person, with a lot of ideas and initiatives and above all he is very personal in his work and in the contact we (TSF) had with him.

This lead to a lot of exciting and mind-opening discussions with fellow artists and TSF. In the end of the residency, TSF, together with SLAK-foundation, organized a presentation of Misheck’s works. This was combined with a meal for all the visitors. It was a great success.

This presentation was also a success because of the input of Misheck. Under the title “Plastic surgery and African Masks in Art” he gave his view, confined on an A4. The spectators asked questions after they had read his thoughts, feelings and believes in an open discussion. The entourage, write-up and the paintings, together with Misheck and the public, it became an interactive way of experiencing art and especially the world of Misheck Masamvu. 


About Thamgidi Studio


Thamgidi Studio Foundation (TSF) is a non for profit organization, based in the Netherlands.

Its purpose is to promote reciprocity of cultures, by supporting the development of artists in Africa, the Diaspora, Art education and preserving Contemporary art from Africa.

Reciprocity of cultures, or the lack of it, is the subject which has great impact on the development of societies, in the past, now and in the long run. In order to promote communication, understanding and to connect cultures, we believe that art plays a major role. These are the corner stones that gave birth to Thamgidi Studio.

Besides our educational program, the international artists in residence program, is run in partnership with other art centers. Our aim is to create opportunities for artists by awarding them fully funded grants, in order to participate in an international artist in residence program. Our Netherlands Partner for the artists in residency program is foundation Slak. Besides the artists in residency awards, Thamgidi Studio also awards travel grants, in order to create cross border exchanges between artists in the African continent.

From Misheck Masamvu

The time frame (one month) propelled me from the first day to the next to push a little bit more in regard to my creative freedom despite the repulsive weather. I had two spacious spaces not far from each other, the Apartment and the Studio. I had two bicycles left at my disposal for the refreshing five minute ride from the studio to the apartment.Unfortunately one of the bicycles got stolen toward the end of my stay, - the only disappointment I suffered.

I brought paintings with me from Germany and I could have turned my stay in Arnhem to a holiday instead of a fruitful time in the studio. Arnhem is littered with little Art studios and that complemented my strong feeling to paint something to remember this city. In the studio, I was happy to paint relatively two big paintings that made it to the final presentation, an Artistic thematic dinner. The foundation provided food, I hanged the two new paintings together with the ones I had brought. The best part, Thamgidi foundation took the initiative to document my work. They made a catalogue of my work, pamphlets on the proposed theme(Plastic surgery and African Masks in Art) available.

It was an open discussion, that aroused a lot of interest and curiosity amongst the visitors. At the end of it, the word(paintings and theme on discussion) made a complete oscillation in explaining the obvious misinterpretation or misrepresentation of information pertaining cultural norms- at least from my perspective.

Misheck Masamvu


About Misheck Masamvu


Born in 1980 in Penhalonga, Zimbabwe, Misheck Masamvu studied art with Helen Lieros at Gallery Delta in Harare. He is currently studying at the Kunstacademie in Munich. Masamvu questions the continent’s current trajectory by dramatically exposing psychosocial and political realities. Kill One, Create Room for Others reflects the fact that “Africa is being robbed by its own sons and daughters… who use the former oppressive methods of governance to enrich themselves and oppress their own brothers and sisters.” The bold expressionistic brushstrokes and dramatic color signal the potential for action, yet everything is caught in frustrated confusion. Metaphor and symbol expose the bizarrely rotten interiors, giving the viewer imaginative entry into this theatre of the mind where everything is ambiguous and uncertain. The characters appear so recognizable, the smiling face so welcoming. But is it clown or fool, pain or aggression, despair or indifference? The possibilities and their likely consequences hover, creating palpable tension, while the human constructions fall apart and methodologies are reversed, offering neither security nor progress. Though clearly referencing the current state of Zimbabwe, Masamvu’s works reflect universal concerns.