Contemporary artist Zin Maisiri was born in Zambia but grew up in Zimbabwe, where he lives and works today. Zin has worked as an art teacher and he spent six years designing clothes.
Today he works entirely as an artist. Three years spent in Namibia radically changed his working process. This was time spent building a strong body of work that was slightly more commercial meaning he was able to make a living s an artist.
Today back in Zimbabwe his preferred medium is acrylic paint but he also endows these paintings with collage and other mixed media. He is a keen social observer and the everyday occurrences of the people in his neighbourhood feed into his work. The last year has been a challenge for Zin, as it has been for many artists. His perception of the world has changed, he now looks for deeper meanings in the social interactions that he witnesses.
‘I look for the words in between the silences’
Zin has been influenced by many western artists from Picasso to Jean-Michel Basquiat. Zimbabwean sculptor Agnes Nyanhongo, who is considered to be one of the country’s most important and collected artists has also been a major influence.
Zin prepares his own canvases under coating with layers of white acrylic paint. This gives him a more textured background. A large part of his work is collage – newspaper, pieces of cloth and even his children’s old exercise books are worked into the paintings. The text of the newspaper adds another dimension to the work, the content often responding to events in the artist’s environment.
‘looking from the perspective of my home country no matter what hardships people bear there is always hope ..a brightness in their hearts for a better tomorrow.’
The elephant is a favourite motif of Maisiri’s. For him the great beast represents strength, hope and survival.
See more of contemporary artist Zin Maisiri’s work