4 African Artists to view, is a collection of African artists whos work we feel is different, the following article will highlight a short biography of these artists.
Now more than ever, there has been a strong interest in contemporary African art. African art is picking up and its artists are at last getting recognition both at home and abroad.
The 7 artists listed here, represent a mix of contemporary African art from young to older people, creating groundbreaking work as well as artists that have been recently discovered by the art world.
1. Obert Jongwe
Obert draws inspiration for his work from his varied lifestyle and a keen observation of his surroundings. The paintings they inspire, invoke emotionally nuanced journeys to which audiences are invited to respond.
A defining characteristic of his work is the “veil” with which he protects his subjects — allowing them to remain in their own world. To respond to the invitation into his works, viewers must cross this threshold. With his focus on posture and atmosphere, rather than detail, you’re invited to evolve alongside the characters and within the world expressed on canvas.
His current body of work reflects a maturing understanding of his own world. One in which his grounding in traditional knowledge systems and rural surroundings are in tension with a western hegemony and increasingly urban lifestyle that seems both unavoidable, and awakens a new socio-political awareness. This exploration makes for an arresting imagery and artistic style.
Obert Jongwe – Mans Best Friend
Originally from Bulawayo Zimbabwe, Mavengere travelled to Johannesburg,
known as the city of Gold, in pursuit of his creative dream. Much like his grandfather, he established himself in South Africa and began at the Artist Proof
Studio, learning and nurturing his passionate precision for transforming concepts into highly descriptive imagery.
Mandlenkosi continued under the formidable eye of the William Kentridge Studio and with great success, mastered techniques used in the prominent linocut banknotes present in his themes today. Today Mavengere creates his pieces at this studio at Constitutional Hill, still in Johannesburg – South Africa.
“My artworks bring into conversation and discussion, the issues of migration and labour relations in our contemporary society. I migrated from Zimbabwe to South Africa crossing borders, had my identity checked at immigrations, and I arrived with the dream to fit-in, in a multi-racial country.
My banknote artworks are a framework within which one can observe the issues of migration with relevance to socio-economic divergence of identity and convergence of another. The directional lines in the banknotes depict the scattering of people and population displacement; the repetition of patterns symbolize the circumstantial economic system embedded to the stereotyped migrants. The linocut banknotes printed onto the fabric emphasize the constructed perambulation of the population in search for income and better life. The figures and portraits are economically fabricated identities who are fitting into a new homeland of occupation versus the home of origin.”
Mandlenkosi Mavengere – Patience Is A Virtue
Karin D Kruger grew up in the Kruger National Park where her father was a Game Ranger. Until she was fourteen years old she lived at Mahlangeni, an isolated game ranger station in the northwest region of the park. They had to row a boat across the Greater Letaba river, filled with hippos and crocodiles, to get to their house.
After Mahlangeni, they lived at Crocodile Bridge and Pretoriuskop. Throughout the years a variety of strays and orphans from the animal kingdom were temporary members of her family. They raised an orphaned lion cub, called Leo, who was eventually repatriated to the wild. Leo taught her the emotional moods of wild animals as expressed by their eyes and body language.
Getting to know the animals as family as well as sharing a home with the wild ones, imprinted the animals in Karin’s art.
Her grandfather, film producer Jamie Uys used wild animals as film stars in his movies, Beautiful People and The Gods Must Be Crazy. The art of portraying the grace and beauty of animals remains her passion.
Karin studied under the artist Lindie Waterkeyn.
Nature preservation and appreciation remains her passion and she hopes to create awareness and connection through her art.
‘Hlangana’ -meeting place
My latest body of work reflect memories of my childhood village which carried beautiful earthy coloured murals in our mud round shaped homes.
My love for art and experimentations driven by a phase in my my life where anxiety, loneliness and depression ultimately caused the flatness in my life and resulted in my compositions as well.
The figures, objects and the background of the surface are integrated to lift the spirit and to bring harmony in the work.
I am using Impasto to to add energy and to lift the mood to contrast the flatness in my compositions. The work is a protest against all Social Illnesses that includes: Human Rights abuses, Obesity and illiteracy.
‘ My canvas is a space in which to act, what is on the canvas is not a picture but an event ‘
I gather my influence from Artists: Alexis Preller, Walter Battis, George Pemba, Gerhard Sekoto, Cecil Skotnes and the four fee of Analytical Cubism Avstract Movement: Pablo Picasso.
Lesego Moncho – ‘Harvesting ‘