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Masoud Kibwana

“Art is life as it opens the human mind to translating life from a state of mind, or idea, to reality.”

Masoud Ibrahim Kibwana is a contemporary visual artist blending cubism and figurative paintings on abstract backdrops capturing beauty, culture and traditions of East African people.

Masoud was born in Mtwara and moved to Dar es Salaam when he was 15. As a child he was timid but had a great love for sports and art. Indecisive, he also was and had a tough time making up his mind on what he wanted to be when he was older - from wanting to be a soldier in the military to being a professional football player. He was unaware that art could be a profitable profession. It was his friends that inspired and influenced his decision to pursue a career in the arts; they saw his talent illuminate. Max Kamundu was his great influence and his love for local comic magazines such as “Sani” and “Tabasamu,” made him take the plunge to full time artistry.

Based in Dar es Salaam, he has participated in different workshops abroad and locally where he had various mentors that have guided him during his art journey. As a mixed media artist, innovation is his middle name, and he loves to experiment with different styles including the Kiraka style which employs the use of pieces of clothes /jeans to patch and paint on. The utilization of waste materials has been key in creating his artworks especially installation artwork.

Masoud loves to read, watch sports and music for leisure. He believes in continuous learning and can find himself glued to a certain book for days unable to put it down then thereafter, go the extra mile to research everything he needs to know about the particular subject.

His biggest achievement is his contacts/ network. His art has opened so many doors for him, building so many relationships with people he wouldn't know otherwise. He literally just came from chatting/ texting with an Ambassador. If it wasn't for his Art, there's no way, he would have had that kind of network. Furthermore, his art career has afforded him his freedom to live a simple, uninterrupted life, where he does not have to rely on anyone or anything. Masoud dreams of owning his own art gallery and elevating visual art of this country to the world. He has made it his personal mission and responsibility to showcase Tanzania’s art to the world.

Critique from the Gallery

Kibwana’s expressionist style is instantly recognizable with his signature mosaic technique that he has come to be famous for. Which displays traces of cubist aesthetic, those among the likes of Cezanne, Metzinger and Henri le Fauconnier. His subjects often consist of human and animal figures, that are presented in a manner like that of origami that emphasizes a sense of three-dimensionality and depth within the subjects anatomy and perspective, thereby making the subject really pop out of the canvas. His Kiraka style which consists of an assemblage of patching and painting over pieces of cloth makes for both a visual and tangible treat due to the combination of its rich texture and complimentary color use. That is further accentuated by a wide array of color tones from the specified palette to give more depth and appeal to the artist’s rendering of the subject, often using bronzy shades and shimmering tints on his highlights and shadows, as well as emphatic outlines of the subjects shape. That all subsequently results in a series of eye-catching artwork that can liven up any room.

Selected Works

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