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ZACHARIA MBUTHA (Zachariah Mbutha W. Kamicha), 1949



Zacharia Mbutha in his studio, 2013Zachariah Mbutha W. Kamicha, known as Zacharia Mbutha, was born in 1949 in Kamburu Village, Kenya. In 1968 Mbutha won an award in an all African art competition and, although he trained and worked as a teacher for many years, his interest in the arts never waned. In 1979 he resigned from his job as a primary school headmaster, steadily devoting more of his time to painting.

Zacharia Mbutha ’s work is the product of his experimentation and the occasional library books on modern art that he has read. From his study of the modern masters, he has invented his own unique style. From Van Gogh he learned bold colours and the impact of vital, dabbed paint marks. The work by Picasso of the 1920s inspired Zacharia Mbutha ’s powerful, imposing monumental figures.

Mbutha is known as a social commentator, whose works reflect and record the issues of traditional African life against the sometimes conflicting surroundings of modern society. Of late, Mbutha has been painting wider issues of love, conservation, hunger, and poverty. He is an artist of rare dedication and is by far his own strongest critic, working and reworking his paintings until he is satisfied. Mbutha 's paintings have extraordinary life and capture both the reality of his chosen subjects and the freshness of a creative spirit at work. His style of applying paint in small dabs creates a thick, rich tapestry of colour.

Zacharia Mbutha is a well known artist internationally whose work is held in public and private collections worldwide.


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