Patrick Rapai

Patrick Rapai was born at Silveira Missionary Hospital in Masvingo, Zimbabwe in 1976. He went to school in Harare, the capital of the country, where he began his career as an artist. In 2004, he married Dora Chabwanda, a chemical engineer. They have one daughter, Zuvarashe ‘Zoo’ Rapai, now 10. In 2008, they relocated to Johannesburg, South Africa, where Patrick currently lives and works as a full-time Artist.

“I perform my daily alchemy in my Johannesburg studio, transforming an almost unimaginable breadth of materials into works of compelling art. My painting technique is inspired by textures, both of nature and manmade, i.e. tree bark, ground/earth, road surfaces, grass, plastered walls, etc. My subject matter is derived from the African landscape and her dwellings and I am stimulated by her rustic color profile. I prefer to call my technique ‘Dimensional.’

“Painting on canvas, I create my paste from mixed wood glue, wood varnish, tile grout or cement. I work with several paintings at a time to allow for the drying process. After a proportional sketch is done with engraving and scratching of wet paste, I apply textures in a sequence with a Palette Knife. It takes the whole day to complete the drying of the textures.  Following is the application of background paint, usually dark colors that will later show as shadows. Finally, the application of intended colors is done with a roller brush that allows only embossed areas to be touched by the roller movement. All this procedure is important to me as it creates an interdependent composition that is unique & depicts individualism.

“I believe that the Art world is like a giant jigsaw puzzle. It’s all about fitting together those who have something with those who want it. This is my aim — to reach out using this painting technique and captivating scenes.”