"Magupela" or more formally Nito dos Santos is a talented young artist from Mozambique in Southern Africa. He has been living and exhibiting in Melbourne since 2005. He draws his inspiration from his experiences as a young artist living in Maputo the capital of Mozambique. He spent his adolescent years in the height of the Mozambican civil war and many of his artworks allude to the tough times families faced in this period. Much of the impact of this plus the following years of life in a peaceful country, can be seen in Magupela's works.
His use of striking and vibrant colours depicting various scenes from Mozambican streets, bring to life the feelings of joy, despair and love that make up the emotional fabric of his homeland. Growing up in the coastal areas is also reflected in the depiction of marine life, with a special focus on fish, which often appear as a backdrop to Magupela's work.
Magupela made his mark in the local Mozambican art scene with his trademark oils on canvas, but he also likes to experiment with other mediums, including paper prints to which he then adds an individual touch with an overlaying social scene. In 2005 Magupela migrated to Australia and settled in Melbourne where he has been establishing himself in the local art community.
Magupela studied at the national high school for visual arts and on completion of his studies began exhibiting professionally, joining a local association of artists at Nucleo d'Arte. Magupela has just completed a Masters of Fine Arts at RMIT, Melbourne where he also completed his Bachelor of Fine Arts. In 2014 he was invited to participate in HATCHED, a graduate Art show held each year at the Perth Institute of Contempory Art. HATCHED is a invitation only exhibition showcasing the best of graduating artists from across Australia.
During the 2006 Commonwealth Games Magupela held an exhibition in conjunction with Dandenong City Council, Mozambique's sister council for the games. His trade mark colours and figures still feature prominently in his work but the influence of his adopted country and in particular the migrant community he has forged links with, can also be seen.
While in Mozambqiue, from 1995 to 2004 he had art works in over 15 exhibitions including a number of sole exhibitions. In 2001 he was invited to exhibit in Padova in Italy and in 2003 participated in a pan African exhibition in Nairobi, Kenya. Since arriving in Australia he has participated in a number of group and sole exhibitions.
His works hang in private and public collections in South Africa, Portugal, Italy, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Brazil, Kenya and Australia.