Colbert Mashile builds a fantasy world in his drawings and paintings populated by animal and human characters that play out dramas of cultural traditions and traumas. Raised in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga, South Africa, Mashile received his BFA and MFA from the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Early in his career, he showed at the Florence Biennale in 2005 and Dak’Art Biennale in Dakar, Senegal, in 2006. Mashile’s work confronts issues like ritual circumcisions and colonialism through a richly layered symbolic system in which animals such as goats, baboons, and reptiles represent various human traits. Within Mashile’s visual world, these animal avatars embody pathos and humor.