Makiwa Mutomba | Robertson Art Gallery

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Makiwa Mutomba: A Journey of Artistry and Nature's Inspiration

Makiwa Mutomba, a self-taught artistic prodigy, demonstrated exceptional drawing skills from a young age. His artistic journey began in Chivhu, Zimbabwe, where he was born on 8 June 1976. Despite his natural talent, financial constraints in his low to middle-class family meant that Makiwa initially pursued a path in Electronic Engineering at university. However, in 1999, during his third year of studies, he took a bold leap, deciding to follow his true passion for painting and make a living as an artist.

The road to success was not easy for Makiwa, who faced challenges while living solely off his art. He relocated from Bulawayo to Harare, the commercial capital of Zimbabwe, and later to the picturesque resort town of Victoria Falls. Here, he sold miniature paintings to tourists by displaying them creatively, hanging the artworks from tree branches at the roadside. During this time, Makiwa discovered a deep affinity for using the knife as his primary painting tool, which eventually became a defining feature of his distinctive style. Eschewing traditional brushes, he exclusively employs the knife to craft his mesmerizing oil paintings.

Makiwa's art is an ode to nature's magnificence, drawing inspiration from the world around him. He captures scenes through photographs and brings them to life on large canvases in his dimly lit studio. Using a generous one square meter palette and improvised paint scrapers that mimic palette knives, he blends and applies paint generously, allowing fresh strokes to dry with minimal interference, adding a captivating texture to his creations.

The fruits of Makiwa Mutomba's labor have earned him international acclaim, with successful solo and group exhibitions held in South Africa, Germany, London, and France. His artistic prowess has also caught the attention of private collectors, commissioning him to create unique masterpieces that bear the hallmark of his knife-only technique.

As Makiwa's artistic journey continues, he remains connected to his roots in nature, using his extraordinary talent to evoke emotion and wonder in those who behold his breathtaking artworks. From his humble beginnings in Chivhu to the global stage, Makiwa Mutomba's artistic legacy continues to flourish, leaving an indelible mark on the world of art.


2000 Young Artists Exhibition, Gallery Delta, Harare, Zimbabwe

2001 Works on Paper, Gallery Delta, Harare, Zimbabwe (sold out 20 Miniature paintings which were part of this group show). Solo Exhibition – Miniature Oils, The Black Mamba Gallery, Vaalwater, South Africa 2002 Solo Exhibition – Miniature Oils, The African Easel Art Gallery, Kasanc, Botswana 2005 Group Exhibition – Black Like Us, The Watercolour Society of South Africa, Johannesburg 2006 From 2006 Exhibitions and sales in various galleries in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana which include, Cherie De Villiers, Johannesburg Chris Tugwell Gallery, Pretoria Etchings, etc, Durban The Art Room, Durban The Cape Gallery, Cape Town Johan Smith Art Gallery, Clarens

2007 Group Exhibition- Wildlands Art for Conservation, The Lindsay Gallery, Durban. Solo Exhibition- A Celebration of Life, Association of Visual Artists, Cape Town Solo Exhibition- Heads, Kwazulu Natal Society of the Arts, Durban Solo Exhibition- Paintings By Makiwa Mutomba? ?. Artspaceberlin , Berlin, Germany Group Exhibition- Together We Are One. Etchings. Durban

2008 Featured Artist- Norscot Manor Gallery, Johannesburg Group Exhibition, Wildlands Art for Conservation, Durban 2009 Group Exhibition, ArtSPACE BERLIN, Germany Collective Exhibition, Camden Art Gallery, London Collective Exhibition, Hendaye, France SOCIETE NATIONATE DES BEAUX ARTS, LOUVRE PARIS (SNBA)

2010  Solo Exhibition, Women, Artspace Durban, South Africa.

2010  Group Exhibition, A Piece of Africa, Norscot Manor Gallery, Johannesburg

2010  Group Exhibition, What Texas means to Me Awards Show, Austin Art Spaces, Texas,    USA

2010  7th Annual Black Like Us Exhibition, Manor Gallery, Johannesburg

2010  Artists Camp, Hyderabad, India

2010 Solo Exhibition, Andhra Pradesh - Miniature Paintings From India. KZNSA Gallery, Durban

2010 Solo Exhibition, The Color Orange, Kotze Kunsgalery, Bloemfontein

2010 Solo Art Miami art fair, Miami, USA


2006 Donated a painting at the request of the The South African High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Dr Lindiwe Mabuza for auction in London to raise funds towards the Phelophepa Medical Train.

2007 Donated a painting titled "Grandmother" to CatPals Art Auction (street) cats of Pretoria and Centurion. Part of the proceeds also went to the Pretoria Arts Association

2010 Donated a Painting to the Lyons Club of Pochefstroom for   the BrightlyColouredSight project, proceeds of which will go to the Guide Dog Association for the Blind

2010 Presently working on a project with Johannesburg Child Welfare called "100 DOORS OF HOPE". The doors will be auctioned in August in commemoration of 100years in existence.

2010 Donated a Portrait of Mahatma Gandhi to the Chowmahalla Palace in Hyderabad, India.


2009   Painting selected for "The Perfect Canvas " competition run by Woolworths, and was    featured on Woolworths carrier bags.

2009   Prix de Grande-Etapes Francaises. Awarded at the SOCIETE NATIONATE DES BEAUX ARTS at the LOUVRE PARIS


2010 Artist's Camp, Chowmahalla Palace, Hyderabad, India

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