Our artist of the month Andrew Ntshabele lives and works in the inner city of Johannesburg. We visited him recently in his new studio at August House where he works alongside a new guard of fine art upcomers including Mary Sibande, Nelson Makamo and Colbert Mashile…
Buyers of Andrew’s works depicting moving scenes of inner city life, include television presenter, actor, speaker, model and fashion designer Maps Maponyane. This shows the allure of the medium and message of this dedicated artist’s work. Andrew uses Shwe Shwe fabric, Rooibos teabags, China bags as the background of his works in pastels and oils. In what could be called a modern impressionist style, he depicts what he sees and lives with every day – showing the heart and heartbeat of the inner city of Johannesburg. If you’ve lived in or near to the city, the authenticity of feeling the works resonate with and how they depict ordinary people in private moments, is immediate and powerfully felt. And behind them the sensitivity and humility of the artist who depicts them, is also present.
Says Andrew about the body of work he’s developing for Expression of Johannesburg, opening at Henry George on 1 September:
“My latest works incorporate a variety of mixed media which I’m still grappling with. I’m currently working on a variety of mixed media such as shwe shwe fabric, dried tea bag, China bags, newspaper and found materials. The use of mixed media helps me to explore different concepts in my painting style and gives me a platform to experiment more.
I’ve included subject matter of people within the inner city, from kids who reside within the inner city apartments who play carefree on the streets and sidewalks – to responsible men and women, who walk proudly side-by-side with their children on their streets. And men and woman who trade on the streets making a living for their families. As well as everyday life of the inner city.”