Kamudzengerere started making monotype self-portraits just months after his father’s death in 2012. He was studying at the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam and used the works as a mode of coping with the loss. He would stare at himself in the mirror for hours, searching for traces of his father’s face. When he would recognize an eye, an ear, a smile, he would feverishly attempt to capture the likeness, drawing onto the back of a piece of paper laid on top of an ink stone. They were instinctual, emotional marks. He did this over and over and over again.
With time, Kamudzengerere’s search of the father evolved into a new printing language, mixing traditional printing techniques with experimental approaches to silk screening and mark making. Process became the central force behind these works as Kamudzengerere added multiple layers to the prints, and scaled them up into oversized disembodied heads or full figures.
In 2017, at the 57th Venice Biennale, 2-meter tall portraits occupied an entire room of the Zimbabwe Pavilion.
In 2019, Kamudzengerere opened his second solo exhibition in New York City by revealing the next evolution of his printing technique, having added lithography and ghosts into the mix. These works had taken the medium into a direction not yet reached by another printmaker.
“Drawing being decisively male, as a black artist, I find visual language very racist, explicitly aggressive and violent. My artistic dilemma is how to engage the veins of unconsciousness in visual poetry and transfer them to a language of prose. I attempt to adopt feminist tactics, finding order and sanity. To draw in the dark such that I cannot see my own line and cannot change nor scrap anything.” – Admire Kamudzengerere, 2019