TINGA TINGA ART

TingatingaTinga Tinga, so funny name... is about african paintings, Actually the man who started all this was Mr. Tinga Tinga. It was in 1968, he was born in Tanzania. The paintings are very colorful. Some still say it is a naive art for children. But Tinga Tinga paintings were auctioned at Sotheby´s and it is said that Keith Harring was inspired by Tinga Tinga. Hurry up to see some original paintings at your local library exhibition - before they lock them in British museum. Tinga Tinga shows us how to see the world with our inner child. Funny, happy and colorful. Greetings from your Tinga Tingaist - Daniel Augusta


It started with paintings of a single animal like a hyena, a lion and others in 1968. Today few painters paint in this "old" style. But there are exceptions like Tinga Tinga´s son Daudi Tinga Tinga. Other painters who use to paint only one animal is Abdul Mkura and Amonde Omary. Both of them belong to the first generation of Tinga Tinga painters. Others occasionally taking up this style are Becker Wasia, Saidi Chilamboni, Mwamedi Chiwaya and more. (See down paintings of Saidi and Tinga Tinga)

Tingatinga

Single girafe is a new motive but inspired by the old days. It is represented by Shabani Mkarekwa (Photo left down) and Jabili Masoudi. Also down right you see the style of Amonde Omari.

Tingatinga Giraffe

Then the guys (and a few girls too) came with the idea to add some flowers here and some birds there. Nothing for the old men, but the young painters enjoyed. They got almost obsessed and to finish one Tinga Tinga painting could take up weeks! The young masters are Rubuni Rashidi, Saidi Omary, Ibrahim Omary, Zuberi Daimu and others. There is not clear line so occasionally if Mwamedi Chiwaya gets tired of painting the tenth simba (lion) he may do something more complicated also. (Down are paintings of Rubuni and A. Hasani)

Tingaitnga African Painting Hasani

I think the best painters of this complicated style is Mwamedi Chiwaya (Photo down), Iddi, Daimu Zuberi and Saidi Omari.

Tingatinga Chiwaya

Saidi Omary is a young painter but he has already pupils. He keeps always a high quality of paintings. He has always good humor and he is never in a hurry. So his paintings are very good. He tries to be creative also but it is difficult in Tinga Tinga collective. Enjoy paintings of S.Omary!

Tingatinga Tingatinga
Tingatinga Tingatinga
Tingatinga Tingatinga

It feels like the Tinga Tinga is a big mess. But if you look closely, only few animals are depicted. And some painters got specialized in some animals. So Gayo Peter, Mtapwata and even Kolumbo paint butterflies - ok not really animals! But the greatest butterfly master is Kambili. He doesn´t paint anything else, it seems. . Down you can see buterflies of Gayo and Chiwaya.

Mbwana Sudi is known for blue fishes and Rubuni Rashidi surprised me with red fishes.

Mbwana Tingatinga Rubuni Tingatinga

Yuba Mawazo and Salum Zaburi likes to paint birds in different ways. But don´t take it for granted, the painters may switch from day to day, yap. So here you see paintings of Mwamedi Chiwaya and Saidi Omari.

Tingatinga Tingatinga

In "people" subcategory there are villages, political paintings, hospitals etc. Sometimes very serious things...So let´s take it step by step! The traditional village life is represented by Noel Kapanda, Steven Mkumba, Kalembo Fidelis (see down) and others

And here is Mitole Saidi and Steven Mkumba, both well established painters.

Tingatinga Tingatinga

The master of political paintings is Mohamed Charinda and the hospitals are painted best by Maurus Malikita.

Tingatinga Tingatinga

And the city life is represented by Katengo, Kalembo, Anthony Jonas, Mr. Sey (Down Anthony Jonas)

Have you ever heard about shetanis? Shetanis are kind of devils in african mythology. Many people still believe in these Shetanis and painters try to get some protection (it seems) by painting these Shetanis. The master of Shetani paintings was George Lilanga. Lilanga is among ten most famous in the world. His paintings were exhibited at Pompidou in Paris and Metropolitan in New York. It showed up that not all by Lilanga signed paintings were painted by George Lilanga. I have set up a website for that research - www.lilanga.org

George Lilanga

George Lilanga never painted in Tinga Tinga collective, he painted in Cultural House but he had very good friends among Tinga Tinga colective. And he gave permission to Mchisa Thabiti to paint like him. And Mchisa gave permission to Jabili Masoudi, it is how the extended family works. Mchisa still paints in this style and you will find many such paintings in Dar es Salaam.

Lilanga Mchisa Lilanga Mchisa

Sayuki Matindiko found his own style though inspired by George Lilanga. Not wonder - Sayuki Matindiko and Lilanga are from the same tribe.

Sayuki Tingatinga Sayuki Tingatinga

They are several hundred Tinga Tinga painters in Tanzania now. Maybe one hundred of them are really good. But the point here is that they are not the same. All have a distinctive style, a personal touch. And some are very different. It is case of David Mzuguno.

Mzuguno Tingatinga Mzuguno Tingatinga

Some painters broke away from the traditional Tinga Tinga stream. Some of them are John Kilaka and Damian Msagula. But John Kilaka si not only a painter, he is a story teller and an illustrator. See his own website - www.kilaka.com

John Kilaka John Kilaka

Now if some artists break, don´t they create a new Tinga Tinga school? The answer is yes. One of most prominent is the Makumbusho branch. Look at Nangida Masawe and Emanuel Jeremiah!

But mostly these branches don´t have a strong leader so they experiment, like Ally Omary, Job Luandala, Lewis Steven. They are strong personalities but don´t work together. They may paint under same cealing in Oysterbay but they paint extremly differently. Here you see Lewis

 

Lastly let me show you something personal. It is a Tinga Tinga painting of Peter Martin. Peter Martin lived with Beatrice and three children in Mikocheni, part of Dar es Salaam. First after 14 years they married. Unfortunately, one year after the marriage Peter Martin passed away. But he knew he would die. So before it happened he painted a Tinga Tinga painting as a testament for future. It tells us that Tinga Tinga paintings are deeply connected with the lives of painters. It tells us that we should look deeper beyond the colors, birds and flowers to find true story about Africa, its artists and ....us.

Tingatinga Peter Martin

The painting paid his own burial. When I found the widow Beatrice Peter I found that she had a newborn child - Steven. I hope that when Steven grows up, the whole world will know about Tinga Tinga.

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