Art for Nyaude can be said to be a lucky strike. Encouraged to consider art a path by his school friend, Wycliffe Mundopa (see Harare News, Feb 2014), Nyaude decided to give it a shot and discovered a passion and a talent, which is both persistent and obsessive. Unlike many artists, who work to evoke grand themes in their work, Nyaude delivers packages of satire, drawn from intimate and wry observation of the rich and colourful life in his notorious neighbourhood. Nyaude’s quest is to get under the skin of life in Mbare.
His depiction of his subjects is fragmented and sometimes disfigured, presenting us with psychological insights of a world that only an insider can communicate. Here we see life in broad daylight and the depth of night, in all its complications, pain and beauty, awkwardness and desire, which show us an intimacy and human vulnerability – the truth of human condition.
His surreal vignettes don’t pull any punches but while challenging and disturbing there is also a humour and a depth and insight beyond that which can be expected from someone so young.
Why should you be interested?
While still at the start of his career, Nyaude is rapidly achieving a reputation and the esteem from his peers as well as developing an international following. He is relentlessly prolific and is immune to the very common ‘disease’ which pushes young artists to start replicating themselves in a style which happens to find favour with collectors, to the detriment of their creative development and future success. Nyaude is clearly aware of the need to keep pushing his own boundaries and to take risks on the road to developing his craft as a painter and social commentator. His early outings on the international stage have met with immediate success due to his unmistakeable style of figuration, dark playfulness and humour permeating his works. This is a serious talent to watch and to support.
Born: 1987, Mbare, Harare
Lives and Works: Mbare, Harare
Started Painting: 2006
Trained: 2007–2009 National Art Gallery of Zimbabwe visual art school certificate
Key media: Oil and acrylic on canvas and paper
Key themes: Social observation, satire
Key Characteristics: Colourful characters made up of people merged with household utensils, strong graphic elements leaning towards comic book-like serialisation.
International Exhibitions: Berliner Liste 2013, 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair 2013, Young and awakening Gorgan Museum Iran, African color and Soho Maputo gallery Mozambique.
International Collections: UK, US, Iran, Germany, Mozambique
Price comparison: 2009: $100–$150, 2011: $150–$300, 2014: $400–$1,500
Fun fact: Nyaude shares a studio space with Wycliffe Mundopa and the two have been known to use the flipside of each other’s “ruined” paintings to paint their new works so if you buy a Nyaude painting you can sometimes find a Mundopa piece on the other side!
Where you can see him: To see Gresham’s new work visit his studio at Chinembiri Studios Mbare.
Contact First Floor Gallery Harare on [email protected] for additional details.