Misheck Masamvu was born in Penhalonga, Zimbabwe. Raised in a Catholic household, Masamvu moved to the countryside in Marondera where he spent most of his childhood, playing outdoors with his sisters. It was here that he began experimenting with art, tracing images on the ground or any other surface. “I think that’s where it started,” he told ART AFRICA, “seeing what my mark was and how relevant it could be.” Later, Masamvu studied art through Gallery Delta’s Helen Leiros, and at the Kunstakademie in Munich.
Working primarily in painting, Masamvu treats each mark or gesture as part of a broader ecology of subconscious signs and symbols.
These motifs, drawn both from within and from the world he inhabits, take on a life of their own, exposing the psychosocial protagonists of contemporary society through acts of painterly exorcism.
Solo exhibitions include Still Still at Goodman Gallery (Cape Town: 2016); Still at Goodman Gallery (Johannesburg, South Africa: 2016); Misheck Masamvu at Institut Franchaise (Paris, France: 2015); Life Sentence at Blank Projects, Cape Town: 2014); Epitaph at Blank Projects (Cape Town: 2012); Shame at Gallery Delta (Harare, Zimbabwe: 2009). Select group exhibitions include New Revolutions: Goodman Gallery at 50 at Goodman Gallery (Cape Town: 2016); Triangle at The Mojo Gallery (Dubai, UAE: 2015); Afropolicity at Njelele Art Station (Harare: 2013); Dekonstruiert und Geflickt at Gallerie Francoise Heitsch (Munich, Germany: 2012); the 54th Venice Biennale, Zimbabwe Pavilion (2011) and the São Tomé Biennale (2010), amongst others.