biography

Denis Mpabuka Nkotanyi is a self-taught visual artist. He started painting out of a need to be financially self reliant, as well as wanting to have a lifestyle that allowed him to express himself through his work. His inspiration stems from the various cultural identities he encounters through his own heritage, traveling experiences, and his surroundings. His work can be found at the Inema Art Gallery in Kigali, Kacyiru.

Denis is gifted in creating narrative-centred paintings. His work marries the real and the abstract, which results in visuals that are at once familiar and deeply engaging. With an eye for details, Denis uses colourful strokes to express a variety of moods which pertain to each unique piece.

Currently, Denis has an ongoing series of paintings titled "1000 faces" showcasing a semi-abstract portrait style of beautiful faces. His use of abstract colours and facial features blur the lines of conventional beauty within the context of cultural and ethnic standards throughout the world. Each face is inspired by the vast multitude of people Denis has encountered throughout his life. He expresses the remarkable beauty he sees in each one of them, thus making every portrait completely unique. Denis Mpabuka aims to produce 1000 individual faces to complete this series.

On a day to day basis, Denis dedicates his time to mentoring young aspiring artists by teaching art classes at the Inema Art Centre. Furthermore, he contributes his efforts in running day to day sales in the Inema Art Gallery.


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