Banele Khoza: a man to watch

Creative Feel - - ARTS AND CULTURE -

With a re­cent solo show at Zeitz MOCAA, the 2017 Absa L’Ate­lier Ger­ard Sekoto Award un­der his belt and a fleet of taxis cov­ered in his work (as the re­sult of him win­ning the SA Taxi Foun­da­tion Art Award), Banele Khoza’s work is go­ing places.

Khoza’s first suite of lith­o­graphs pub­lished by The Artists’ Press demon­strate his skill and dex­ter­ity. Khoza’s abil­ity to em­brace the un­known and to im­merse him­self in the tech­ni­cal pos­si­bil­i­ties of what lithog­ra­phy has to of­fer, com­bined with the skills of Master Printer Mark Attwood, have re­sulted in prints that re­veal the artist’s gifts.

Khoza worked on stone and grained film, us­ing a com­bi­na­tion of pen­cil, litho crayon and ink and tusche washes. The del­i­cate traces of the dried ink, Khoza’s choice of colours and draw­ing abil­i­ties com­bine to de­light the eye. Khoza has been a keen drafts­man since the age of 5, draw­ing im­ages of the toys that he wanted but could not get from his con­ser­va­tive par­ents. This sense of long­ing and vul­ner­a­bil­ity can be seen in Khoza’s lith­o­graphs.

Ob­ses­sively neat and de­tailed text weaves through some of the prints, but one can­not read all of the words. It is as if the artist en­tices one into his pri­vate world and then stops one from fully ac­cess­ing it, ques­tion­ing the viewer’s mo­tives for the in­tru­sion. Khoza’s jour­nals are an in­te­gral part of his prac­tice and are re­flected in his im­age-mak­ing. ‘I have never seen so many sharp pen­cils’ is some of the text in­cluded in one of his lith­o­graphs. Khoza’s in­ter­est in the pri­vate and the pub­lic merges with his in­ter­est in so­cial me­dia, tech­nol­ogy, con­nec­tion/dis­con­nec­tion, iso­la­tion and a long­ing to be whole and com­pletely present with some­one as well as with one­self.

In the six two-colour prints, faces and bod­ies are al­luded to, the del­i­cacy of the washes con­trast­ing with the bold­ness of the forms. And just as things seem to be get­ting re­ally se­ri­ous, the text and ti­tles pull one back with a sense of de­light and quirk­i­ness. Dear Olympia (a re­clin­ing nude with two cats) and Don’t for­get the toma­toes re­mind­ing one of ev­ery­day rou­tines.

For more info, visit www.art­printsa.com or con­tact mark@artist­s­press.co.za

Con­fes­sions of a Loner, Banele Khoza

Over­thought, Banele Khoza

Un­ti­tled, Banele Khoza

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