"Tinga Tinga paintings began with Edward Saidi Tingatinga who was born in 1937 to a family of subsistence farmers in southern Tanzania.
In 1953 he traveled to Dar-es-Salaam in search of work and laboured at odd jobs in the construction industry until 1961.
Impressed by the ease with which western style paintings by Zairian artists sold to tourists, Tingatinga decided to try his hand as a painter. Since he could not afford to purchase art supplies, he began with scavenged materials, painting on discarded ceiling boards using dregs of bicycle enamel, household paint and old paintbrushes.
Despite this unpromising beginning, Tingatinga quickly developed a new and unique artistic style. His colourful crowded paintings depicted fantastic animals and birds, dancing tribespeople and scenes of village life. His lack of formal training led to a simple, direct and naïve approach to natural subjects, lacking in nuance and detail but bursting with exuberant life and colour."

Text kindly provided by Monika Schnoor. ©MagpieInternationalPhotography