Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Well, my full name is Pride Nyasha Mapfumo. I am a Zimbabwean male artist and expressionist painter whose art mainly explores the dynamic nature of love and relationships. I studied art in high school and have continued as a self taught artist. I received a degree in Architecture from Curtin University in 2016 and now I work as a freelance artist and designer.
When did you begin painting and what was your motivation?
I began painting at a very young age, probably when I was five or six. I, of course, had no idea what I was doing then but I knew it definitely made me happy. I don’t quite remember what motivated me then but I just know it’s something that came naturally to me. I guess you could say I was and still am compelled to create art.
These days however, I am motivated by my past relationships and those of close friends and family. I am also immensely inspired by music, the greatest art form in my opinion (my favorite musician is Frank Ocean).
What is your ideal environment for creating? What is your process?
I definitely have to be alone when I paint, it’s really an intimate thing. I also feel that I produce more authentic work that way. I don’t worry too much about outside noise because my brain is noisy enough at times and also I mostly have earphones plugged in or music playing loudly.
As for my process, I start by trying to figure out a theme, which is usually the longest part of the process as I’m always trying to convey a message that I can strongly relate to and one I hope other people relate to as well. As much as I paint mainly for myself, I always feel happier knowing that other people, few as they may be, have found a piece of themselves in my work. After figuring out the theme, I paint instinctively, tearing some pieces along the way. It is the part I unfortunately can’t describe. It’s a flow state!
What is the inspiration behind the “Queens” series that features ‘conflicted,’ ‘it was all for nothing,’ and ‘it isn’t easy’?
It was inspired by a close friend who was sadly involved in a toxic relationship. The most devastating part was how she remained hopeful and forgiving even though she foresaw their relationship’s demise.
How do your surroundings influence your style and practice? What are your main influences?
One word, Nature! I am fortunate enough to have grown up in a country that has beautiful landscapes. There is something cathartic about nature, the freedom it exudes, so wild yet so demure. I don’t mean to sound pretentious but nature has taught me not to limit myself, thus, I am always exploring different themes, styles, and mediums, all with a similar subject matter, of course.
How did you gain the confidence to share your work with the world?
I wish I had a long answer to that question but the truth is one of my close friends pushed me. (Thank you Suzi!)
What do you do besides painting? What are some of your other interests? How do those interests incorporate themselves into your practice?
Well, I am definitely interested in architecture, renovations especially, and also temporary structures (installations). I also love film and photography. I plan to turn some of my art series into short films and the timing has to be right, we will see. I feel art is very broad and I intend on exploring my options, ambitious as they may be. We are mortals after all.
Lastly, what other projects are you involved in?
I had my first public group exhibition a few weeks ago and I was humbled by the response; it went really well, more than I thought it would. Definitely looking forward to future exhibitions! I am not yet at liberty to disclose other projects. Even though they are not massive, I feel they will be a step in the right direction.
Pride Nyasha Mapfumo (1993) is a Zimbabwean male artist and expressionist painter whose work seeks to explore the emotions that arise from the dynamic nature of love and relationships. He has always been passionate about art ever since he was a child.“I started creating art at a very young age. I got my first set of watercolor paintbrushes and paint when I was six. Even though I didn’t know what I was doing then, I knew it made me really happy. I really dived into art when I got to high school. I studied it as a subject for six years under two great teachers! And have since continued as a self-taught.” Pride received his degree in Applied Science (Architectural Studies) from Curtin University in 2016. A couple of months later, he launched himself as a freelance artist and designer. pridenyasha.com. @pride_nyasha. facebook.com/artbypridenyasha/.