Win with LG in Mandela Month
he had to work much harder than before to keep up with the demand. In 2005, a Munro figure study sold at a Matla A Bana charity auction for R100,000, highlighting the investment value of his art and causing a sharp increase in the overall prices of Munro paintings. It was an inspiring time for the young artist, a time that would have a permanent effect on his life. SLOW recently caught up with Munro to find out more about what makes the artist tick.
SLOW: What inspired your art before becoming Munro?
Munro: Before I became Munro, life was a never-ending struggle to succeed, to be famous, to make money. After the successful transformation to Munro, nothing changed for a while, and I enjoyed the fruit of the harvest to the max. Then one day it dawned on me that I am here to do my part and that part was not for my physical benefit, but to be taught to do what is right. We are not here for ourselves. We are here to become better, to love, to have joy, to be patient, kind and longsuffering. We must learn faithfulness, goodness, gentleness, and peace. These things inspire me especially when I apply them to my wife and my son.
SLOW: What inspires you artistically
Munro: I am entirely driven by love. I want to make something beautiful and pleasing and mindful of our times. I want to steal away pain and sorrow and evil thoughts, and replace them with something transformative. My paintings are there to make peace between ages and races, to speak something universal to every language and skin tone. I am inspired by reconciliation, by openness, and a spirit of forgiveness. We will always have haters and villains amongst us, but for now, I want people to stand shoulder to shoulder and enjoy the colours of my creations together.
SLOW: To what extent does your spirituality inform your work?
Munro: Spirituality is what we are. We cannot be disconnected from this. Whether good or bad, it forms the basis of everything we do. I can never paint anything beyond the boundaries of my beliefs. To see what a person does is a visible indication of who it is you are dealing with. SLOW: Did your life change after you became commercially successful as an artist?
Munro: When I realised the responsibility of success it altered my state of being entirely. Before I knew what I know now, I lived without a conscience. I did what I wanted and said what I pleased. But it slowly dawned on me that something was missing, and I started searching very hard to find the missing component. I became severely conscious of my role here. For some, financial freedom is a key to hedonism, but after a while, it became my vehicle away from self-gratification. Instead, I am here to become better and [to become] complete.
SLOW: How would you describe your work, and what mediums do you prefer over others?
Munro: Joyous, serious, bright, and modern. I prefer acrylic above oils because I work fast and I like immediate results. I cannot stand overworking paintings. I want them to have an impulsive, youthful air about them.
Although Munro officially retired from being a full-time artist in 2009, he has “gradually resumed being that again”, he reveals. “Life without a job is lifeless. I need to work until I die. We need purpose and the means to do good, for those who cannot work.”
Munro is based in Marina Beach on the KZN South Coast, but sometimes works from his studio in Pretoria. To date, almost 12,000 Munro paintings have been sold, and there is no indication yet that this enigmatic artist will be slowing down anytime soon.
For more information about Munro and his work, visit www.munromunromunro.com.
In Blue, acrylic on canvas, 150 x 150 x 5 cm, 2018.
Then thou showest me their doings, acrylic on canvas, 120 x 120 x 3 cm, 2018.