Posts Tagged ‘shona sculptor’

Artist of the moment…..John Takawira

John Takawira was a first generation Shona sculptor born in Chegutu, Zimbabwe in the year 1938. His father worked for the local police. John Takawira was inspired to make art by his mother and also two brothers who also became professional artists, Bernard and Lazarus, the latter I have already written about. John Takawira worked with the figure and also with birds. His work was an exciting blend of realism and abstraction with great variation of textures within his work.

Takawira began sculpting seriously at the age of twenty with the assistance of his uncle, Joram Mariga. His work was shown to Frank McEwen, the leader of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe and John Takawira attended some workshops at the National Gallery. After this experience the artist was always on a forward path and began his professional career. This was in the mid 1960s.

Had his work shown for the first time at the Museum of Modern Art located in New York City in 1969.

Price range information: Works range from $2,000 to $10,000.

During the early part of the next decade Takawira would be put on the international stage via some works that were shown at some top museums in Paris, France. His works were the most acclaimed by the critics.

An eagle made by the artist was given to Pope John II.

John Takawira passed away in 1989.

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Artist of the moment…….Anderson Mukomberanwa



Anderson Mukomberanwa was a son of the legendary Shona artist Nicholas Mukomberanwa. Anderson Mukomberanwa was born in Ruwa, Zimbabwe in year 1968. Anderson was schooled in many mediums including printmaking, painting, and sculpting.

The artist attended college in Harare, Zimbabwe with the idea of working in the science industry, but after graduation decided to pursue an artistic career instead.

Other famous sculptors that were brothers of the artist include Taguma, Lawrence, Ennica, Netsai.

Anderson Mukomberanwa passed away in 2003 due to complications from cancer, he was only 35 years old.

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What a great style Anderson Mukomberanwa had, I can’t help but think of the artist father son relationship of other artists such as Andrew and Jamie Wyeth, or even N.C. and Andy Wyeth. Who knows how great Anderson Mukomberanwa could have become if he had even reached the age of fifty. Let us remember life is often times to short to tackle everything we would like to accomplish!



Artist of the moment……Perlagia Mutyavaviri

Perlagia Mutyavaviri was born in Harare, Zimbabwe in the year 1978.

She enjoys working in a very abstract method as it makes her free to express herself.

One of few women sculptors in Zimbabwe.

In this clip we see the artist at work as she is finishing a piece:

In this clip a brief interview with Perlagia and a gallery owner.

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Artist of the moment………Shona artist Victor Fire

Victor Fire is a contemporary shona sculptor from  Zimbabwe. Victor Fire was born in the year 1965 in Guruve, Zimbabwe.

His father had 7 wives so he comes from a family that has 36 siblings in all including him. He quit school after the 7th grade. Fire wants his own children to learn skills in addition to sculpture. The artist has three children.

Works mainly with serpentine.

price range information: Works range from $1,000 to $10,000.

Winner of the best sculptor in Zimbabwe in the year 2004. This award is given out by the National Gallery of Zimbabwe.

Was working in a mine and a fellow worker was crushed to death. He quit and did not return to work and started to sculpt in order to make money.

In this clip an interview with the artist. We learn more about his family and the Tengenenge artist colony where more than 200 families now live:

In this clip we see many works by Victor Fire and an interview with the artist:


Artist of the moment….Shona Sculptor Elliott Katombera

Elliott Katembera is a shona sculptor born in the 1970s. Katombera has been working alongside Nicholas Tandi and G. Gidi.

He is based out of Harare, Zimbabwe enjoys working with butter jade and verdite.

price range information:

Works range from $300 to $3,000.

In this clip we see the artist working on a piece. The best is at the end of the clip when at least 10 smaller bust carvings that Katombera is working are shown:


Artist of the moment….Stalin Tafura

Stalin Tafura is a shona sculptor from Zimbabwe born into one of the most famous artist families in country. His mother is Anges Nyanghongo and his grandfather the world renown Claudio Nyanhongo.

Tafura attended college at Ranch House College studying international tourism. His work is the blend of traditional shona motifs such as mother and child but he also is a master at using  a particular stone to help add a feeling and mystique to his works.

Tafura is currently based out of Loveland, Colorado.

The artist started out as an assistant to both his grandfather and father helping them to polish up and finish large works.

In this clip a brief interview with the artist who is shown working on a sculpture:

A link to the website of Stalin Tafura:

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Artist of the moment…..Henry Munyaradzi

Henry Munyaradzi is among the most well known of the first generation of shona sculptors. Henry Munyaradzi was born in Chipuriro, Zimbabwe in the year 1931. His father was a spiritual leader of his clan. The artist never attended an organized school as part of his upbringing. The artist is renown for his stylized faces in which eyes are made as simple circles and the nose also a very simple shape with straight lines.

Before honing his artistic talents the artist was a blacksmith and like other shona artists worked in the tobacco fields.

In 1967 he decided to move to the art community located in Tengenenge and work on becoming a professional artist. Munyaradzi stayed here until 1975 when he set out to work entirely on his own. This community was started by a tobacco farmer whose property had wonderful stones on it, just perfect for carving. The farmer was also an artist and invited others to share in his pursuit of sculpture and an art  community was born!

The artist has had his work featured on stamps of his country.

A wife named Mary also started an art colony.

In this brief clip a curator talks about a work by Henry Muyaradzi titled “Spirit protecting Orphans.”

Henry Munyaradzi died in 1998 at the age of 57 years old.

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The artist was included in an exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art located in New York City in 1978.


Artist of the moment…….Dominic Benhura

Dominic Benhura is a shona sculptor from Zimbabwe born in the year 1968 in what at the time was Rhodesia, but is now part of Zimbabwe. Like many shona sculptors, he came from a tough childhood. His father was died before he was even born. Raised by his mother he was an excellent student. In addition to stone the artist works with steel, wire, Most of his shows have been in Europe but he has started to make a name for himself in the United States.

Part of the second generation of shona sculptors. He is internationally renown and collected.

price range information: Sorry none available.

In this clip by a gallery owner representing Dominic Benhura at Art Basel Miami  we learn more about the type of stone the artist enjoys working with. I found it interesting to hear about the different types of stones used and their characteristics. I hope to find this same information as it pertains to the Inuits and their type of serpentine or granite stone.

A link to the website of Dominic Benhura:

As the result of being an excellent student, he moved to another town to study and for period of time lived with a cousin who was a professional sculptor, Benhura was ten years of age at the time. After helping to polish some finished pieces belonging to his cousin he thought why not try to sculpt something himself. He sold his first work at the age of twelve years of age.

In this clip we view a piece titled “rejoicing” by Dominic Benhura:

In this clip we visit another sculpture showing children at play;