IndustryThe Colourful World Of Nitra Art

Learn more about the Artist behind the colourful, abstract artwork decorating the walls of Hotel Institute Montreux campus and the Freddie Mercury private building.

As you wander around Hotel Institute Montreux campus and the Freddie Mercury private building you will come across multiple canvases of vibrant, acrylic artwork. Artwork such as pop art-inspired animals and portraits of iconic figures, decorating the walls with colour and creativity. We often receive questions from curious students and guests wanting to learn more about the Artist behind these paintings. I hereby introduce you to the Artist, Nitra.

Nitra Artist

Hello Nitra! Tell us about yourself, where are you from and what inspired you to become an Artist?

I am originally from Rwanda, a small country in Africa. Rwanda is often called the Switzerland of Africa, it is a relatively small, a land-locked country, surrounded by big neighbours, and its capital Kigali is the cleanest city in Africa. Rwanda has a focus on sustainability and the environment and is relatively well developed compared to neighbours. We have hills and valleys and the great mountain gorillas. I came to Belgium at a young age and started with street art, later I developed my painting skills.

How did you perfect your skills and technique as an Artist?

I was always interested in vibrant colours which are very present in Africa. I wanted to create art that represents my roots, my continent my culture. A lot of my artwork shows colourful African animals, elephants, lions, tigers and such. Perfecting the art is practice, I paint every day and I always try to develop my style.

Did you go to art school or have a mentor to master your craft?

I did not go to art school, I developed the style myself, of course, I frequently have collaborations with other artists and we share our styles and techniques. You always need to look around you to stay innovative.

How long have you been painting for?

I have been painting all of my life, from a young age. It started with street art, graffiti and then I developed my painting style.

Describe your artwork in 3 words?

Positive, extravagant and warm.

Your artwork has a strong focus on animals and famous public figures, why is that?

I focus on African animals because I want to share the positivity and colourfulness of Africa. It is the most dynamic continent and changes every day. In Rwanda, for example, we had a very dark history with the genocide in the early ’90s, we have now recovered over the years and now have a positive spirit. I want to share positivity with people through my art. That is also why I attend many festivals such as cultural festivals, reggae festivals where people come together to share a positive message. Also, I started focusing on pop culture, famous people because there is a lot of chance to show colour and positivity and give it my own twist.

Nitra Art Lion

Nitra Artwork

Which artists are you most influenced by?

Artists that influence me are Bansky and NoeTWo, a Brazilian artist who also uses a lot of colourful explosions, but also music artists such as Bob Marley has influenced my work.

Which part of the creative process excites you the most?

When an idea comes together and I can envision the end result in front of me. Then when you paint it the artwork starts to live its own life.

What challenges do you face as an Artist?

You need to remain exclusive, you need to be selective in what you produce and always be alert for new possibilities.

What do you love most about being an Artist?

I love that my art can inspire people with its colours. It is always great to see people's reactions when they see my work for the very first time and at events.

How much time on average does it take for you to complete a painting?

It takes several weeks to work on paintings, from the thinking process to creating the work.

How many paintings have you created in total?

I don’t keep count, but it must be over fifty! Each work is unique I never make duplicates. Sometimes I paint portraits on requests, of both people and animals. Some people want a painting of their dog for example.

Which of your paintings is your favourite?

I have some paintings of gorillas that I keep very close to my heart. The gorilla is a powerful animal, living only in Rwanda and the Congo. They are now protected species and live in protected sanctuaries, it is a very important symbol for Rwanda to bring eco-tourists. Also, I like exciting projects with a purpose such as the Freddie Mercury painting and the story behind it from when I came to Montreux and the location where it hangs. My other favourite projects include the Bob Marley painting and portraits of celebrities which have been exposed at certain charity events.

Tell us about your collaboration with Swiss Education Group?

My friend Sebastian de Goeij who was promoting my artwork used to study at Swiss Education Group in Leysin some fifteen years ago. He told me stories about Freddie Mercury in Montreux and the statue and he showed me some pictures. We created the idea to make a colourful portrait of Freddie and contacted Florent Rondez, the CEO of Swiss Education Group, with the idea to showcase it in the newly built Freddie Mercury private hotel. It was a very interesting project.

Nitra Artist and SEG CEO Florent

Do you have any future events coming up, where your work will be featured?

Yes, I do! I am attending a lot of events in France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany and Rwanda. I am also collaborating with the champagne brand, Philippe Rouyer, where my artwork will be featured on the bottles.

My artwork will also be showcased at the following art galleries and art shows:

  • La Master on the 16th-17th November 2020, in Ettelbruck, Luxembourg
  • Nitra's Big Art, in the Netherlands Happy Trader Gallery, on the 15th - 24th May 2020 in Maastricht
  • Nitra Art At Champagne Meets Fruit, on the 27th-29th March 2020
  • International Global Art Show, on the 10th -14th October 2020 in Bruges Belfort, Belgium.

For more information on Nitra’s Art, please visit:

Nitra Art Animals

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