African Artists from Tanzania
form the Atanas Style
About Atanas Style Paintings
Atanas style African paintings hail from Tanzania and are made today from a group of young African artists. This style of African artwork can primarily be found in the city or coastal art shops of Kenya and Tanzania.
True African Art .com had 20 of these bright and inspiring original African art paintings for sale. We call them "Atanas Style" as an index to an African painting style coined by many Tanzanian African artists. We now offer them as prints as their originals sold.
The Atanas Style African artworks are beautiful renditions of Maasai culture in an abstract style. They often feature Maasai figures in vivid colors lingering around their huts with trees, mountains, gourds, and bulls in the background, which is the Maasai tribe's livestock. In some of their contemporary African art paintings, Atanas Style artists show a rising sun that highlights the colors of purple, red, dark blue, yellow and green all around it.
Atanas style paintings are generally oil paintings and are made with a palette knife. These African artworks' color is weighed down by the palette knife to form thick painting all around making an abstract Maasai lifestyle theme.
Like Tingatinga paintings, Atanas Style African paintings came from a single person from the past who is now deceased. In this case the African artist's name is Atanas Mwanasola Kiswanta. He came from West Tanzania from an area called Kigoma and was from the Fipa tribe. He often painted his African artwork on the walls of huts and caves, despite living in a modern age where art surfaces could be purchased. He died in 1992, but Matrida, his wife, is still alive as of 2009 and lives still in Kigoma, Tanzania. This town is found in Western Tanzania near the East side of Lake Tanganyika and the border of Burundi.
This style of Black African art paintings Atanas created grew in scope and popularity after his death. Atanas style is now a brand that was taken from one artist and then one family and then went public with a group of random African artists. Tingatinga art is the same, except they are more organized and even have a Cooperative.
Unfortunately, the Kiswanta family has not benefited much from the vast array of African artists who paint in this style now, but it is important for history's sake to note where the style originally came from. Naturally, copyright issues come up that deal with who owns the style and who can paint it, but for now, as with Tingatinga style paintings, the African art form is unharnessed and widely practiced by several groups of freelance African artists across East Africa.
But the Kiswanta family continues to paint with several relatives painting in Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam. One relative, Francis Kiswanta, supplies art dealers from Kenya with Atanas style paintings and other people picked up on the method. This is sometimes considered the reason why Atanas paintings are sold not only in Tanzania in large numbers, but in Kenya as well.
At right are samples of Sold artworks from this African style, available now as art prints in several mediums, frames, & other media options.