“I am black, I think black, I paint black.”

Luis Meque, 1997

Born in Mozambique, Luis Meque was 20 when, in 1982, he fled the civil war for Zimbabwe. He found a new home in a suburb of Harare in 1986.


It was there that he decided to become an artist. He took part in a workshop at the Harare National Gallery and subsequently gained the support of Derek Huggins and Helen Lieros, who ran an art gallery.


Luis Meque died of Aids in 1998.


It was in the streets of the Harare slums, especially in Mufakose, that Meque found his subjects, people whom he depicted in all situations, often painted from behind and from the perspective of one who unmasks his subjects. He depicts man with his passions, doubts and fears within a social milieu in which cash is always short. What Meque depicts is his own situation, the risks faced by a stranger in the midst of a bustling modern African city.