Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Tingatinga painting is a very popular style in Tanzania, and is generally geared towards the tourist market. The paintings are small so are easily transported, and their bright colours make them eye catching. You can find tingatinga paintings covering a variety of products too, not just canvases - jewellery boxes, lamps etc.
Edward Tingatinga began painting around 1968 in Tanzania (Dar es Salaam). He employed low cost materials such as masonite and bicycle paint and attracted the attention of tourists for their colorful, both naïve and surrealistic style. When Tingatinga died in 1972, his style was so popular that it had started a wide movement of imitators and followers, sometimes informally referred to as the "Tingatinga school".
The first generation of artists from the Tingatinga school basically reproduced the works of the school's founder. In the 1990s new trends emerged within the Tingatinga style, in response to the transformations that the Tanzanian society was undergoing after independence. New subjects related to the new urban and multi-ethnic society of Dar es Salaam (e.g., crowded and busy streets and squares) were introduced, together with occasional technical novelties (such as the use of perspective). One of the most well known second-generation Tingatinga painters is Edward Tingatinga's brother-in-law, Simon Mpata.
Because of his short artistic life, Tingatinga left only a relatively small number of paintings, which are sought-after by collectors. Today it is known that fakes were produced from all famous Tingatinga paintings like The lion, Peacock on the Baobab Tree, Antelope, Leopard, Buffalo, or Monkey. (Wikipedia)

Lauren and I tried some of our own tingatinga painting yesterday, copying some of the characters found in some children's picture books I found.

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