Although Edwards Saidi Tingatinga is dead, his memory is still fresh and alive among us all. His art will make him live forever.
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Szyd - Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania (member of Tinga Tinga Arts Cooperative Society). c.2010 Oil enamel on canvas (18" x 18") (45cm x 45cm).
Each Tingatinga picture has a story. The stories in the pictures illustrate the natural beauty of the Tanzanian environment and the day to day activities of the people of the rural and urban areas. Thus, through Tingatinga paintings, many people are learning about the importance of preserving the environment and Tanzanian Culture. Edward Tingatinga established the Tingatinga style of art and handed it over to other Tanzanians who are now producing new paintings inspired by his work.
Steven (Said A.) Mkumba (b. 1963) - Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania February, 2013 Oil enamel on canvas (27 1/2" h x 39 3/8"w) (70cm x 100cm)
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Further elaborating on the Makua painting hypothesis, Shiraishi also suggested a connection between hut walls painting and traditional rock paintings, an art form that in Africa has continued past stone age to at least the 19th century. Based on this connection, Shiraishi concludes that Tingatinga art might be seen as the "longest artist trend ever".
February, 2014 Oil enamel on canvas (271/2" h x 19 3/4"w) (70 x 50cm).
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Because of his short artistic life, Tingatinga left only a relatively small number of paintings, which are sought-after by collectors. Today it is known that fakes were produced from all famous Tingatinga paintings like The lion, Peacock on the Baobab Tree, Antelope, Leopard, Buffalo, or Monkey.
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Travelers are most welcome to visit the Kiota art studio [at Gibb’s] to share stories, experience the art, even paint if that is their wish. And of course I’d encourage all of them to support local Tanzanian artists by purchasing some pieces!
The Tanzanian art community keeps growing, and there are so many people with different talents and skills. I wish Tanzania could support art and artists better. I know I keep growing and improving, discovering new techniques and trying new things, and growing more confident in my work. I love my work, and I want people to know how much beautiful art is being made in Tanzania today!
Rashidi Rubuni (b. 1969, Livangula, Tanzania) - Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania (member of Tinga Tinga Arts Cooperative Society) c. 2010 Oil enamel on canvas (35 1/4" h x 25 1/2"w).
2013 Oil enamel on canvas (23" h x 31"w, 60cm x 80cm).
How long have you been artist-in-residence at Gibb’s?
Edward Tingatinga began painting around 1968 in Tanzania (Dar es Salaam). He employed low cost materials such as masonite and bicycle paint and attracted the attention of tourists for their colorful, both naïve and surrealistic style. When Tingatinga died in 1972, his style was so popular that it had started a wide movement of imitators and followers, sometimes informally referred to as the "Tingatinga school".
As a little boy, I always loved colors. Even in primary school, back in Kilimanjaro [region], I was always sketching and painting images of my surroundings. I guess that’s where my art journey began.
Tanzania is a land filled with stunning imagery and lush, vibrant color; it makes perfect sense that many guests choose to remember their trips with local artwork. One of our favorite artists working in Tanzania today is Peter Ray Mwasha. Currently a resident artist at Gibb’s Farm, Peter has been painting since he was a child, living in the far north of Tanzania, near Kilimanjaro. Recently, we took the opportunity to chat with Peter about what inspires him and his beautiful works of art:
What are some of the images that inspire you and your work?
January, 2013 Oil enamel on canvas (21 1/2" h x 29 1/2"w) (55 x 75cm).
In 2010 Hanne Thorup interviewed Tingatinga student Omari Amonde, who confirmed that Tingatinga used to paint on hut walls as a young boy (around 12 years old).
Art Inspired By Tanzania
Conservation-themed paintings based on my visit to APW. Click on the images to read more about these paintings.
Inspired by her family’s Tanzanian heritage Lynnie Zulu’s creations are bold, brilliant and vibrant – “brimming with bold, spontaneous brushstrokes and vibrant, tribal hues; the antithesis to a drab, celtic colour palette.” – It’s Nice That
Jesper Kirknaes also documented those painting being done in Dar es Salaam by Makua and Makonde migrants. Shiraishi is one of the scholars who most firmly supported the theory that Tingatinga's art is connected to traditional Makua wall paintings. Among other considerations, Shiraishi observed that it is unlikely that a style emerged and spread so quickly over most East Africa without any connection to traditional art. He claimed that his studies provided evidence for this claim.
August., 2013 Oil enamel on canvas (18" h x 18"w) (45 x 45cm).
c.2010 Oil enamel on canvas (30" x 35 1/2") (76cm x 90cm)
March, 2014 Oil enamel on canvas (18" h x 18"w) (45 x 45cm).
I have been in the artist-in-residence program for five years, but I’m not there full time; an artist is invited to the farm for three months, then he or she will leave so another artist can show his or her works, too. Sometimes we artists stay and work together on the farm, which is special, too.
Jan., 2013 Oil enamel on canvas (14" h x 12"w) (35 x 30cm)
October, 2013 Oil enamel on canvas (18" h x 18"w) (45 x 45cm).
Tingatinga (also spelt Tinga-tinga or Tinga Tinga) is a painting style that developed in the second half of the 20th century in the Oyster Bay area in Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) and later spread to most East Africa. Tingatinga paintings are one of the most widely represented forms of tourist-oriented art in Tanzania, Kenya and neighboring countries. The genre is named after its founder, Tanzanian painter Edward Said Tingatinga.
How did you end up pursuing art professionally? Did you start out in another career before becoming a full-time artist?
In early 1968 he started painting by using brush and oil colours. He painted animals and other scenes and motifs on square hard boards, usually 60cm x 60cm in size. In 1972 he secured a job at the Muhimbili Medical Centre in Dar es Salaam.
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March, 2014 Oil enamel on canvas (31 1/2" x 39 1/4") (80cm x 100cm). With custom framing.
August, 2013 Oil enamel on canvas (18" h x 18"w) (45 x 45cm).
The point where everything comes together and you realize you’ve made a real work of art. It’s hard to put my finger on, really. I also love bright colors and interesting textures. Those are maybe a little easier to explain! [laughs]