Masindi Mbolekwa - Behest: Kufa Konke Kuphele Ngawe

Masindi Mbolekwa


Masindi Ikhona Nafisa Mbolekwa (b. 2002) is a young artist living and practicing in Johannesburg, South Africa. Mbolekwa’s primary practice is a conversation with painting, history, culture, space, community, and God. Born into a proud and rich indigenous culture in a space of little tolerance, he finds himself caught between the necessity of modernism, and the romance of tradition; the institutional pull of the west, and the soul-bound call of home. In interrogating identity, colonial mechanisms, religion, metaphysics, and the popularized, mythicized histories of “man” (as centred on the hegemonic west), he fashions a mythos of his own: an explorative pseudo-narrative to ground his experienced state of ‘groundlessness’. A reflection of liminality, a questioning of binaries both real and constructed, a debate with God, an ethereal safe space, a descent into the shadows of the divine.

Artist statement

Caught by the institutional pull of western practice, tradition, and cultural hegemony, and drawn by the spiritual/communal pull of indigenous practice, culture, and archive, Mbolekwa’s work explores the binaries and liminalities that make up his uniquely South African identity in an ever growing, ever colonizing world of cultural melt, through the questioning of the conception of identity at the personal and societal levels. His is a practice that is interrogative of himself and the environments that inform him, through careful referencing, ambiguous meaning, and a mythological language, he questions the construction of culture as pure, and explores this through themes of loss, intersection, obstruction/hiddenness/darkness. He seeks – almost hopelessly – to fully map his subjective human experience through the imagining of its fluidity as visualized and coalesced into a personal mythos.

  • Masindi Mbolekwa - Behest: Kufa Konke Kuphele Ngawe
  • 2023
  • Oil and Earth on Canvas.
  • 150 x 100 centimeters
  • Sold
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