Cinzah Merkens

Born in 1986 in Auckland. Growing up in between Auckland and Arorangi in Rarotonga, Cook Islands, Cinzah was exposed to a diverse cultural background, which came through in his artistic practice later on in his life.

Cinzah attended ELAM school of fine arts, although after 1 year he made the conscious decision to leave and follow his own path.  After dropping out of art school he went on to establish a community based art gallery in the heart of Auckland city.  A place where he could curate and exhibit a vast array of emerging artists somewhat overlooked by the mainstream and conceptual art circles.  With these new found curatorial and artist management skills Cinzah continued to host exhibitions throughout NZ and Australia over the years to come.  He moved to Melbourne, Australia, to further his mural painting practice in 2007 and continued to endeavour to work overseas, travelling throughout South East Asia. 

In 2009 Cinzah returned to New Zealand where he honed his skills as a commercial illustrator with Watermark, a niche illustration agency, working in the adverting industry while simultaneously building his career as a fine artist and contemporary muralist.  He won several design and illustration awards as well as having important collectors purchasing his originals, somewhat with a foot in both worlds. After 6 years of working in the commercial world, Cinzah took a leap back into his own practice, stepping out of the illustration game to focus on his fine art and muralism, simultaneously using his developed skill set to grow the New Zealand art scene.

In 2012 Cinzah Co-Produced New Zealand’s first feature length documentary on the New Zealand Street Art Scene, titled ‘Dregs’.  Jumping forward to 2018, Cinzah is now the NZ regional director for PangeaSeed, a not for profit ocean conservation based organisation, and over the last two years has produced two of New Zealand’s largest international mural festivals ‘Sea Walls: Artists for Oceans’ in Napier, delivering 50+ large scale public works of art by some of the worlds top contemporary muralists, addressing pressing issues around the state of the worlds largest eco system - the ocean.  

Cinzah’s mural work has taken him around the world, although he currently lives in Napier, Hawkes Bay with his partner and two children.