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Kudzanai Chiurai

Artist 244

Kudzanai Chiurai

Mixed Media Art

Kudzanai Chiurai (born 1981) is a Zimbabwean artist and activist. His repertoire of art combines the use of mixed media which involves the use of paintings, drawings, videos and photographs to address and tackle social, political and cultural issues in Zimbabwe.

Exiled from his native Zimbabwe after fearlessly producing an inflammatory image depicting Robert Mugabe, the country’s infamous leader, with horns and swallowed by flames in 2009, Kudzanai Chiurai now lives and works in Johannesburg.

Chiurai was the first black recipient of a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Pretoria, and has since become an important figure in the African contemporary art scene. Chiurai uses dramatic multimedia compositions to confront and challenge the most pressing issues in the southern African region, from government corruption to conflict and violence, xenophobia, and displacement.

Chiurai’s work is brutally honest, tearing apart the status quo and confronting the state of African governments through a mixture of digital photography, printing, painting, and more recently, film.

Kudzanai is not only an artist but also a poet, an activist and a cultural philosopher who addresses social and political injustices in Zimbabwe. Kudzanai is not known as a photographer, but he collaborates with other photographers to diversify the studio photography

Kudzanai uses masculinity and power as a style and framework in most of his artwork to represent the political ambiguity in South Africa. He actively uses female protagonists in his work challenging assigned gender roles.

When asked how Kudzanai see’s his position as an African artist he says,

“It comes back to this question of plurality. If you consider that I am local to Harare, I’m still participating globally – even when I’m not physically there, I’m still present around the world through the work that I’ve made. Artists of older generations, like George Pemba or Dumile Feni [South African painters who spent most of their careers in the West] just didn’t have the same opportunities. Whereas I can now be local in four or five countries at once.”

Sources Consulted:…/10-contemporary-african-artis…/…/…/…/…/


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