Owen Maseko
Owen Maseko
BornOwen Maseko
Bulawayo
ResidenceBulawayo
Known forPolitical Paintings
Notable workSibathontisele

Owen Maseko is a visual artist most known for his Gukurahundi paintings which got him arrested in 2010 on charges of "undermining the authority of the president". He does acrylics on canvas, installations, ceramics, and pottery. Maseko founded and runs Ko-Maseko Art and Ceramics which is based in Bulawayo.

Background

Maseko was born in 1975 in Bulawayo and grew up there. He trained at Mzilikazi Arts and Crafts Centre where he said he developed his "passion for everything artistic."

Controversial Works

  • In October 2015 Maseko held an exhibition for his work titled Ikhothaeyikhothayo which was taken down the day of the exhibition by the gallery after Maseko wrote apparent "obscenities and vulgarities on his art".[1]
  • In March 2010, an exhibition of Maseko's work opened at the National Art Gallery of Zimbabwe in Bulawayo. The exhibition, titled Sibathontisele (IsiNdebele for Let's Drip On Them), consisted of 12 paintings in 3 installations. Many of the paintings featured violent and bloody depictions of Gukurahundi. Maseko was arrested hours later on charges of "undermining the authority of the president". The paintings were locked up for about 5 years after which Maseko got his work back. He eventually exhibited the paintings in Nairobi in April 2017. [2]

Trivia

  • Maseko has said that he is a survivor of Gukurahundi “I am a survivor of the Gukurahundi atrocities. I witnessed my parents and neighbours being beaten up,” [2]
  • Maseko describes himself as a political artist and says "I believe that art can be used to expose human rights violations and atrocities that have taken place in Zimbabwe."[3].

Reference

  1. Peter Matika, OWEN MASEKO AT IT AGAIN: His art works too explicit for exhibition, Sunday News, Published: 8 November 2015, Retrieved: 8 April 2018
  2. 2.0 2.1 Davies Ndolo, Expo: Zimbabwean Owen Maseko exhibits banned Gukurahundi collection in Nairobi, The Star, Published: 15 April 2017, Retrieved: 8 April 2018
  3. LinkedIn Profile, LinkedIn, Retrieved: 8 April 2018