Jean-Marie Vianney Munezero is a self-taught visual artist, who blends both traditional and modern techniques to create his own brand of aesthetic.
The 29-year old artist makes mesmerising paintings that tell complex and myth-inspired stories.
Munezero traces his journey into art industry from Ivuka Art Gallery— located at Kacyiru where his wonderful art works adorn the walls of the gallery.
His work dwells on intricacies of life, and through his paintings, he tries to provide solutions to how these can be solved.
“I am an artist,” said Munezero, adding “I paint to express the positive side of life so people will always be inspired to reach their goals”.
Discovering his passion
“As a young boy, I would fabricate car toys from wires but my parents did not like this. They wanted me to focus on my studies so that I would excel in life. However, I was interested in making art which would anger my parents,” he recalls.
“I had to learn how to be independent when I was still very young because I had no parents to take care of my needs,” he says.
When he was just 15, he decided to move to Kigali to look for work, of any kind. The first job he got was in the construction industry, as a ‘porter.’
But during this time, he was also looking for opportunity to profit from his art passion. Then one day, he came to Ivuka Arts Centre in Kacyiru. He was immediately taken in because of his prowess in sculpturing. But later, he thirsted for more. From the artists who he found there, he did his apprenticeship in painting under them.
“I didn’t have money for materials but I credit William Ngendandumwe and Tony Cyizanye (founder of Yego Arts Center, Nyarutarama) for helping me to develop my skills. They helped me to start my painting journey,” Munezero says.
Today, Munezero is among the most recognised artists, not only at Ivuka where he found sanctuary to learn a new form of art, but also the entire country.
Most of Munezero’s work call for order in this busy and crazy world. Hanging on the walls of Ivuka Art Gallery are several pieces of his inspiring paintings.
One of the portraits is titled Numwanankundi. The painting depicts a lonely man sitting forlornly at a deserted dusty street, with tears streaming from his gloomy eyes.
Don’t Live Alone is a mixed media painting of a family of five, who have been living in seclusion in the forest. While another painting shows a beautiful woman, gracefully carrying a traditional clay water pot.
Munezero says of the artwork, “you can’t find happiness when you decide to set against yourself from other people.”
“I use acrylic and water paints on canvass, as well as clothes in order to make excellent art pieces. He buys most of the material from within the region, because they are cheaper there,” said Munezero.