Daniel Mafe lived and exhibited in London from 1979 until 1990 when he then returned to Brisbane. He completed postgraduate studies in Painting at the Royal Academy in 1983-6 and in 1986 was the winner of the Europe Prize for Painting in Ostende, Belgium. In 1987 he completed a Painting Fellowship at the Gloucestershire College of Art & Technology in Cheltenham. He has continued to exhibit regularly since his return to Australia with his work residing in important public collections.

In 2003 Mafe completed a floor commission for the atrium of the Royal Brisbane Herston Hospitals Art Built-in Project, as well as a book entitled Working Spaces: Arts Practice in Progress, which focuses on the nature of arts practice through the work of four Brisbane artists. Daniel Mafe has been the recipient of many prestigious awards including the Australia Council Studio Residency (2005), QUT Creative Works in the Arts and Design Grant (1999) and a Greene Street Studio residency in New York (1996).

Recently exhibitions include Porchsongs (2007) Museum of Brisbane; Peer Pressure I (2006) Jan Manton Art, Brisbane; Beijing Film Academy New Media Festival (2005) China; and Abstracting the Collection (2004) Heide Museum of Modern Art, Victoria.

Daniel is currently employed as Head Lecturer of Visual Arts in the Faculty of Creative Industries at QUT.