After spending a few minutes with Augustin, you will feel calmer and more relaxed as his easy-going way is so contagious. However, his calmness belies an active, creative mind and paint brush. When one walks into the gallery that he helps to run, filled with paintings by many different Rwandans, one is hard pressed to quickly identify all of Augustin’s work because they are so diverse.
This Kigali native attended both primary and secondary school in the capital city. Although he has never had official art classes, even at a young age his drawing demonstrated his artistic talent. He studied French in school and also speaks English, though he is very humble about his ability in both. He also speaks some Kirundi, the native language of Burundi, which is very similar to Kinyarwanda.
Augustin was working at a bar when an established Rwandan artist saw some of the sketches he was doing. This artist put the sketch on a canvas and showed it to Augustin and encouraged him to make more. The first time Augustin painted a work, he saw that he could make art and that it was something he wanted to keep doing. Augustin has a unique, modern but thoroughly Rwandan styleHis style seems less influenced by European art and more by fellow Rwandan artists, such as those at the Ivuka Arts Center and Uburanga Arts Studio. Today, you will often find Augustin at Uburanga Arts Studio creating a painting, painting a mural, or working on an art installation in the garden. He also continues to develop his talents with his membership in Isoko Arts Rwanda, an association of Rwandan fine artists.
A work by Augustin speaks of the creativity and vision of one of the youngest Rwandan artists active today. The combination of his unique vision and traditional Rwandan images and subject matter make for a truly worthwhile artistic endeavor.
In 2013 Augustin co founded Agasozi Art Center in Musanze where he connects with local youth by organizing workshops for kids in order to help them find freedom of expression, creativity and possibly discover some new young talents.