Presently Professor of Design at the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston.
For more than two decades my work has taken on issues of consumerism, health, nutrition, social responsibility, the environment and human rights.
Credentials include an MA in Graphic Design (with distinction) from the Central School of Art and Design in London, and an Advanced Diploma in Postgraduate Film-making from the Central St. Martins School of Art and Design London.
Also spent a year in Japan studying three-dimensional design and ten months in Malaysia working on various world-reaching design projects for the International Organization of Consumers Unions and JUST World Trust.
Design work experience in London includes time with Fulcrum (Design Consultants), Newell and Sorrell Design Ltd., as well as a stint in the Department of Graphic Design of BBC Television.
From 1983 until 2000 I was the principal of The Maviyane-Project, a design studio in Harare. As a result of the social, humane and confrontational nature of my work, I felt compelled to temporarily leave Zimbabwe because of the adverse political climate there.
Films written, directed and produced by me include ‘After the Wax — personal view of nationality and identity’ (1991.17 min,16 mm in colour). This work has been screened at several film festivals and television channels around the world where it has won several awards and accolades.
As well as being published in numerous International magazines and newspapers, my design work has also been acknowledged in Who’s Who in Graphic Design, First Choice: Leading International Designers, Rewriting the Rules of Graphic Design, Digital Portfolios Unzipped, Graphic Agitation 1 & 2, Graphic Design Timeline — A Century of Design Milestones, World Graphic Design, Celebrating Posters, Area: Showcasing 100 of the world`s most innovative emerging graphic designers, History of Graphic Design, Design for Dissent, International Poster Excellence, Anatomy of Design, Designer Portraits, Lovely Language and was included in the list ID Forty, ID magazine’s annual honours list profiling leading-edge designers from around the world. New York 1998.
In 2009 I was conferred with an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Amongst other awards I am also the first recipient of the Anthon Beeke International design award, Amsterdam and recognised by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston with an award for outstanding innovator in his commitment to the struggle to transform society and create a just future as well as by Simmons College, Boston with an award for courage and integrity in using art to stimulate activism for social change. In November 2003 I gave the prestigious Dwiggins lecture sponsored by the Society of Printers and the Boston Public Library.
Besides extensive individual and group exhibitions worldwide, my design work has been represented in most of the largest international graphic, invitational and poster exhibitions from 1980 to the present time, while I have also been invited to judge several international exhibitions and competitions.
My work is included in several international permanent collections in various galleries.
I am presently writing a book about my work entitled “Creative Defiance”.
LINKS & PRESS
In a increasingly consolidated world of media communication, silence is no longer a choice. Where reaching the populace was only the privilege of the powerful, the internet has opened a gateway of intervention and truth. AgitNet was set-up to promote voices of expression through online exhibitions and enable forums of discussion around relevant social and humanitarian subjects.
The site was kindly designed, developed and hosted by Carlos Avilla.
Besides the 'Graphic Commentaries' and 'Portal of Truth', some of the exhibitions on AgitNet that I have been directly involved with are:
This cyberspace exhibition without boundaries was launched on Thursday 25th May, 2000 (Africa Day). Displaying their solidarity and concern for Zimbabwe’s situation, a few graphic designers from around the world donated their skills and imagination to protest a proposed Zimbabwe special communications bill intended to intimidate all email & internet service providers by forcing them to allow the government to view ALL communications entering and leaving the country.
An exhibition of posters celebrating commonsense and social responsibility by the students of my poster class at the Massachusetts College of Art. April 12 -16th, 2004
These posters are intended to raise awareness, to call to action, to enlighten, to promote, and to inform..
The Graphic Imperative
International Posters for Peace, Social Justice and the Environment 1965–2005. Boston, Philadelphia and New York City. The first major exhibition I have a co-curated, this exhibition is a select retrospective of 40 years of international sociopolitical posters. Themes include dissent, liberation, racism, sexism, human rights, civil rights, environmental and health concerns, AIDS, war, literacy and tolerance, collectively providing a window to an age of great change.
Uses graphic design as a force for social development and change..... also represents an important attempt to find to find a graphic voice relevant to the black community... provides the ideological revolution with a visual revolution.... GRAPHIC AGITATION (Phaidon UK)
And what an impact the posters made.... The images in the seven all belonging to a series entitled REMEMBER are subtle but the messages are compellingly clear.... NEW STRAITS TIMES (Malaysia)
Rebel with a cause.... studies subject meticulously so that he can dominate it when he finally puts an idea down..... obstacles are welcomed, the more obdurate the better, which enables his sharpened facilities to chisel out well defined results...... IDEA (Japan)
The Art of liberty...... DESIGN (Brazil)
Has taken raw, passionate burning talent and turned into an intellectual art...... THE CLUB (Zimbabwe)
Explores an indigenous iconography that speaks not only for his clients’ particular needs but for Zimbabwe..... PRINT (USA)
It’s a dramatic understatement to say that Chaz is passionate about design and its role in human affairs.... HOW (USA)
Overcoming his present situation and disadvantages in Africa, he tries to deliver to viewers strong messages of silence filled with inborn beauties of African cultures and traditions... DESIGNET (Korea)
Distinctive, bold and African, there is a driving force behind all of Chaz’s work... His images attempt successfully to challenge and expand barriers of culture and political expression... JUBILEE (Newspaper of the 8th Assembly of the World Council of Churches)
The poster is, first of all, a way of thinking. It should surprise, challenge and intrigue us...Chaz Maviyane-Davies's 'Eject' poster did just that. A recent emigre to the United States, brought his experience of political apathy to the forefront via his posters.... COMMUNICATION ARTS (USA)
African subjects are employed to represent the Everyman, the international citizen, not simply to enact a "reversal" of the dominant white paradigm, but also call into question the very notion that universal subjects exist.... PRINT (USA)
Was one of 30 designers worldwide invited to design a poster for the 2nd U.N. Conference on the Environment held in Rio de Janeiro and shown in over 30 countries. These are some of the press comments on my work from the exhibition:
The revelation from Zimbabwe ...... technically sophisticated ..... he most dramatic poster of the exhibition and the biggest seller....... JOURNAL DO BRASIL (Brazil)
Ever the guerilla fighter of graphic design .... The poster sold out before the exhibition closed..... DESIGN (UK)
Has scored a first for Zimbabwe..... AFRICA SOUTH (South Africa)
A universal message with African character....... TIPOGRAFICA (Argentina)
By July in Brazil alone over 10,000 posters and 20,000 cards were sold with Chaz’s poster heading the order of choice.... PRINT (USA)
Whose poster conveyed the spirit of the conference...... DOMINGO (Brazil)
Was one of the few artist who chose to see mankind as an intergral part of the rhythm of nature....... His dedicated and single-minded approach to work evokes a sense of passion and pride in being African.... HERALD (Zimbabwe)
An incredible communicator and commentator on incredible issues, via incredible images..... The IDEA (India)
A design genius.... Package & design (China)
Combines a great knowledge of craft with the deep insight of the power of words and images..... AREA (UK)
He possesses the deft ability to imbue his imagery with meanings that change depending on who’s on the recieving end -they can resonate within the hearts and souls of the exploited like folksongs while, at the same time, perforating the paranoid political power brokers’ backsides like bullets..... NOVUM (Germany)
On my first short film ‘After the Wax:'
Director of the first genuine Zimbabwean film..... MAINICHI (Japan)
In other hands this statement would be so much shrill rhetoric, but in Maviyane-Davies invests his images with a convincing dignity..... HORIZON (Zimbabwe)
The film is a condensation of Chaz’s creativity, personality and produced in the climate of Africa’s turbulent history with the ancestral thoughts that stream through his veins.... EARTH CRISIS (Japan)
His biggest contribution to the movie world may be his short film ‘After the Wax’ which combines a medley of metaphorical dialogue and artistic excellence... DAILY GAZETTE (Zimbabwe)