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The music concert painter

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The music concert painter

Jovan Kiganda works on a painting. He prefers doing his work at music concerts so as to capture the attention of the audiences. Photo by Edgar R Batte. 

By Edgar R. Batte

Posted  Saturday, December 21  2013 at  00:00

In Summary

Jovan Kiganda is always painting something just besides the stage as musicians entertain.


You have probably seen him do his thing at music shows. He enjoys showcasing his artistry alongside music, which enjoys a bigger following. Jovan Kiganda is that guy you see with his brush painting something just besides the stage as the musicians entertain. His signature sub genres are realism and abstract art.

At music concerts
At 23, Kiganda says if you will not go to the gallery to see his artwork, you will surely spare a minute to appreciate it during his live painting sessions. He has painted alongside music concerts and shows of the likes of Qwela Band, Code 9, Afrigo Band, Milege Afro-jazz Band and Fission Illusion. His idea of getting noticed as an extra at big events has worked because he has also caught the attention of artistes like Konshens and Alaine, who were recently in Kampala for a concert.

International exposure
Kiganda says, “The big stars have endorsed my work worldwide because they will move with the portraits.” He has made portraits for guitar maestro Myko Ouma, artiste Maurice Kirya and fashion designer Sylvia Owori.

But beyond presenting beautiful art pieces, Kiganda has an underlying driving cause for his works. He says: “My work is highly inspired by society and people around me, and it is mostly musical. It is also inspired by the desire to communicate for the voiceless, like children with sickle cells, HIV/Aids, cancer; children subjected to child labour and child sacrifice.”

He says this is how he ends up participating in charity fundraising drives where his works are auctioned to raise money for charity.

But that is not to say he is into art for social benefit only. Kiganda testifies that unlike the common fable that art is unrewarding, it is actually putting a meal on his dining table.

“Art is one of the few businesses where one can make a 90 per cent profit, but like any other business, it has its highs and lows,” he adds.

Kiganda says artists need to go out and educate locals about the essence of art, and why they should even spend on original art rather than just buying prints.

Kiganda does not have a specific time he will spend on an art piece. “I can spend as short as 20 minutes on a portrait or as long as a fortnight for a wall mural, but standard is three days of studio time,” he says.

He is also a big-time fan of wildlife because of the beauty of nature around him.

Nocturnal worker
Kiganda says he prefers to work at night because it is peaceful and quiet, with less destruction.

“And I believe it is when the art gods talk to me. However, I am working all day in my head, trying to put together all the missing pieces to an art work,” he adds.

To the aspiring artist, Kiganda says there is every reason to join the art genre.

“Art is definitely developing a lot and I have very high hope of where this road leads. As people get to appreciate art more and more, the development and growth can be reflected,” he concludes.