Ahmed Said, leeds Member Since March 2008 Artist Statement .The Beginnings Of An African Art Style
Working as a nighttime cleaner Edward Saidi Tingatinga struggled to support his family. In desperation for more income and inspired by the sight of tourists buying small, sugary paintings on the streets of Dar es Salaam, he converted his kitchen courtyard into a workshop and began to paint. He used what was at hand – high gloss bicycle paints and inexpensive ceiling boards, on which he painted simple renditions of the animals of his childhood. A stray bullet killed Tingatinga in 1972. He had painted for only four years when he died, but his distinctive style marked the beginning of an African painting style that has been carried forward by painters till this day.
Wild Animals And Big City Life
Ahmed said, shows the development from the early beginnings till today, where the third generation of Tingatinga painters carry forward the Tingatinga style with new, cheeky, colourful and witty motives and detailed compositions. Tingatinga himself only painted extremely simple motives, often a lone animal on a monochrome background. In contrast today’s canvases are filled by an explosion of animals and birds. New motifs have been added, ranging from village tales to city life, African fables, tropical fish, and wild life at the foot of snow clad Mount Kilimanjaro. The paints used are still high gloss enamel paints, giving the paintings their characteristic brilliant surface and the colourful, stylized, graphic expression so typical of the Tingatinga style.