The Power of Running Away
Masamvu was born in Penhalonga, Zimbabwe in 1980. His works are described as “mutants that oscillate between abstraction and figuration.” Along with his fellow Zimbabweans who deal with struggles after post-independence Zimbabwe, Masamvu’s works capture the plight, political turmoil and economic issues from the society’s perspective. Though layers of rough brushstrokes convey an abstract pictorial plane visually, they can also be interpreted as a direct expression of anger and pain. Despite depicting figurative subjects, the impulsive brushstrokes prevent it from exhibiting a figurative image. In 2022, Masamvu’s works were exhibited for the first time in Japan at the Aichi Triennale 2022, making it a significant milestone. That same year, his works were presented at the 8th Biennial of Painting exhibition at Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens in Belgium, which was co-curated by South African curator Gabi Ngcobo and contemporary artist Oscar Murillo. Ngcobo also served as the curatorial advisor for Aichi Triennale 2022. In 2020, Masamvu had a solo exhibition at Pérez Art Museum in Miami, US. He also participated in the 22nd Biennale of Sydney and was featured as the representative artist of Zimbabwe at the 54th Venice Biennale in 2011.