feature: visual artist kudzanai chiurai: the powerful silence of art

June 13, 2014

I’ve learned that as much power words hold, regardless of how passionate, dedicated, and knowledgeable one may be when voicing their concern or belief, there is no guarantee that their voice will be taken into account, let alone understood. Though it takes a great amount of discipline for us to bite our tongues and endure the agony when gritting our teeth in certain situations, know that in silence your voice can still be heard. A great example for implementing the ’silence is golden’ tactic is Artist Kudzanai Chiurai. Like many other mixed media artists from around the world, he uses social commentary as a permanent aesthetic that showcases in depth looks of his country’s socio-economic status. Through his artistry, Chiurai has grabbed the attention of one of the most infamous world leaders, Robert Mugabe, as well as becoming a trailblazer and staple in contemporary African art culture.

By Tip Jordan, AFROPUNK Contributor *

The voice of art reasons when comprehension seems impossible. In 2008, Chiurai released a poster that showed Zimbabwe President, Mugabe, with horns and fire erupting from his head. Many saw the act as courageous, deserving of respect. But, it was not appreciated by Zimbabwe’s aristocracy.

Nevertheless, Chiurai remains a reclusive artist, using art as his avenue, voice, and tool that contribute to mind-provoking artistry in route to help change the social constructs of injustice, inequality and the minds of those without as much power as those who seem to have it all.

(Kudzanai Chiurai is represented by the Goodman Gallery. Click here to view more of his work.)

Above: The Minister of Education

* Tip Jordan’s website: