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EDDIE MASAYA

1960, Nyanga, Zimbabwe

Born in the Nyanga district, Masaya showed little interest in sculpture until, while at school, he found a copy of The African Times containing an article about Zimbabwean stone sculpture. The article featured numerous artists, including Claud Nyanhongo and Bernard Manyandure; it also mentioned Masaya's cousin Moses. This was the first Eddie had heard of his cousin's profession, and he soon determined to travel to Harare upon completion of his schooling and ask to work with his cousin. In 1980 he did so, spending two years studying and working with Moses. Together the men showed at the John Boyne Gallery in 1981. In 1982, Masaya went to Guruve to work with Brighton Sango, a relationship which ended with the latter's death in 1995.
Masaya was among the first of the second generation of Zimbabwean sculptors to break away from the stylistic restraints imposed by earlier artists. His works are known for their ghostly quality and are often rougher in textures than those of the previous generation. He has exhibited worldwide and is considered one of Zimbabwe’s finest living artists.
A break through exhibition was held in 1991 at the Alliance Francais in Harare titled A New Generation and it featured the works of Eddie Masaya, Tapfuma Gutsa, Brighton Sango and Norbert Shamuyarira. The response was outstanding as people redefined their concepts of Zimbabwean stone sculpture. Masaya has gone from strength to strength continually propelling himself to new heights. In 1995 he joined the artist residence program at Chapungu Sculpture Park, due to the outstanding excellence of his work he was awarded invited artist status in February of this year. Masaya's spiritual approach to sculpting is confidently depicted in his work.

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