PATONAZ – Franklyn Dzingai & Wilfred Timire

Italiano (Italian)

Opening day: September 21st, 2023 6:00pm – 8:30pm
September 22nd, – November 18th, 2023
Osart Gallery, Corso Plebisciti 12, 20129 Milano

On show at Osart Gallery a new duo exhibition by Franklyn Dzingai (Kwekwe, 1988) and Wilfred Timire (Harare, 1989), titled PATONAZ (In the City), that marks the return of the Zimbabwe-born artists in the spaces of the Milan based gallery. After the success of the group show SHANDUKO (2022), the two artists present new series of works which gravitate around the theme of city life in Harare, where they both live and work, and its inhabitants. The gallery premises thus turn into a symbolic extension of the capital streets and households, with their rich stimulus and contradictions, dividing between contrasting feelings and attitudes that tell us about daily activities, hopes, challenges, dreams of redemption of a nation existing and coexisting in perfect balance between respect for the tradition and building of the future.
The population of Zimbabwe is among the “youngest” in the world (60% is under 25 years old), while the economy is among the poorest: rampant inflation, spreading unemployment, and scarcity of facilities, they all contribute to make it one of the hardest places to live in. On the other hand, Zimbabwe is now home to one of the most prolific artistic ecosystems in Southern Africa, with its representatives acting as ambassadors and keepers of elements of cultural tradition that mix with new languages, as is the case of material recycling, which is one of the pillars of the country’s everyday life. Recycling is at the base of the microeconomy, as reflected in the junkyards filling the city streets, or in households, where numerous families strive every day to compensate for the lack of essential goods in the most creative ways.

Likewise, Dzingai and Timire interpret their production, the former through printing techniques on canvas and collages, the latter creating authentic tapestries out of plastic scraps, sewn together with needle and thread. Both artists permeate their works with an extreme neorealism, which ideally bridges tradition (Dzingai’s family portraits are traced back to his own familial story with pictures from the ’70s and ’80s) and everyday life in contemporary Zimbabwe (as visible in Timire’s subjects, with their fashionable attires and laid-back attitude), witnessing and narrating the reality in which they are immersed in.
The city becomes therefore the stage where real-life stories are played, filled with characters and feelings of pride and resilience of a country that still carries the desire to tell and renovate itself, despite the difficulties.


Franklyn Dzingai was born in Kwekwe, Zimbabwe, in 1988. He lives and works in Harare. In 2021 he was among the recipients of ArtHARARE Africa prize. In 2009 he began his artistic training at National Gallery of Zimbabwe Art Studio, with a major in printing techniques earned in 2011. His works often feature collages and drawings, and his prints are characterized by the use of bold colors. Images are retrieved from books, magazines, newspapers, and family portraits.
Dzingai is among the few Zimbabwean artists who have researched printmaking: he especially experiments with
cardboard arrays during the printing process. In 2023 is among the artists exhibiting at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in the group show A Gathering, with some of the works on display at Osart Gallery.

Wilfred Timire (1989) lives and works in Harare. In 2021 he was one of the recipients of the ArtHARARE Africa prize. His artistic research is based on a profound analysis of the context he lives in, which sublimates in the tendency to assemble found objects, such as packaging material, and to sew them together in tapestries that represent everyday life experiences. The use of recycling has made him one of the most original representatives of Zimbabwe artistic research in recent times. In 2020, Timire has participated in the group show Artist in the stream X at Delta Gallery in Harare. In 2023 he has exhibited with his peer Franklyn Dzingai in the shows Wadii? at Cape Town Art Residency, and Tributaries at Barnard Gallery, Cape Town.