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Said Rajab Said

"I do art in your heart."

Originally from Bagamoyo but born and raised in Dar es salaam, Said is the first born of five children. Being the eldest and the first boy, he always felt like he was under a microscope to ensure he fulfilled his responsibilities to lead and set a good example for his younger siblings. Initially, Said had wanted to become a footballer because he loved sports so much. However, he was a gifted little boy and thanks to his uncle Abbas Ausay (an artist), his footballer ambitions transformed to artistic aspirations.

Inspired by Raza Mohamed, Said’s art journey started with sketching during primary school. After completing his secondary education, he attended the Nyumba ya Sanaa (House of Art) in Zanzibar for further art training where he fine-tuned his technique, enhancing his talents even more. Art was something Said was good at and he considered it mostly as a hobby because it gave him great pleasure. Said only became a serious painter during the year of 2005 and his first exhibition was in 2007.

Said enjoys playing and experimenting with watercolors, poster colors, oil colors, acrylic colors and ink. He taught himself palette knife painting. Said is proud of his heritage and takes great delight in being an African. He loves the Swahili culture. Therefore, he uses his work to identify with African and Swahili tradition. At present, Said focuses on painting and signwriting. He also does portraits capturing moments of people conducting their daily activities, especially the Swahili Women in their colorful Khanga fabrics.

Nothing gives him more pleasure than spending time with his family.

Critique from the Gallery

Said Ray’s work greatly focuses on capturing ordinary acts of domestic life in Tanzanian households, which unequivocally results to a good majority of his subjects often being women, who traditionally perform said domestic chores/duties and rituals such as swaddling a baby, carrying baskets, churning grains and beating drums. But what sets him aside from his contemporaries is his visceral use of color and brushwork, which conveys a very warm and wholesome perspective of african domestic life through his color scheme that's brimming with warm hues and pastels largely dominating the canvas. Ray’s use of color resembles fauvistic sensibility that coincides well with the frenetic brushwork that has become his signature style, that subsequently invokes a sense of kineticism within the composition and overall makes for a rather dazzling series of work.

Selected Works


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