Samson Mnisi also whose late name translates to “Rain maker”. Born in 1971 in Lesotho, Samson is a Soweto Based Artists, who studied Fine Art and photography at FUBA Academy. He has had numerous groups and solo exhibitions, locally and internationally.
He has also collaborated with many artists around the world across various disciplines of Art, and his works are in local and international collections. Lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa (SA) and Brooklyn, The United States of America (USA).
Samson Sowetan based artist who has a studio at the heart of White City. It’s not common that you find artist that turn their homes into artist studio. As soon as you enter Samson studio, you are injected with excitement and inspiration at the same time. This artist who has exhibited aboard has will be hosting his 2nd solo exhibition in Soweto and we are honored to host him for our May exhibition.
His art is a symbolic language of an abstract thought. He uses patterns, lines, symbols and color to find a contemporary South African expression. He sees himself as part of the timeless tradition of celebrating the human godliness from the first rock painting, to the present time and beyond. He’s interested in using art as another element of alchemy. Where through it you can evoke and even heal certain emotions.
“In my work I am finding a new interpretation for an old language.
Because of our colonial history, we have struggled to interpret ourselves even in post-colonial times. Can the mind be decolonised ? It is in pre-colonial times that we can really find the true reflection of ourselves. But those moments are far gone, and in most cases look like mambo jumbo because of the nature of the colonial education. The purpose of art making in that historical context, reflected the religion, culture and philosophy of that time. I therefore believe that by honestly looking at our history in totality pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial times, we can truly understand where we are, and how we should relate to the world and the future.” – Samson Mnisi
Samson’s work builds up curiosity based on the patterns, lines and symbol, one can’t help it, but think about primitive art. His work is representative of Africa as a whole. Every time the viewer looks at his work there is always something new that one finds in the work. His work is also infused with modern patterns that you may have seen in various traditional African fabrics.
Selected Collections and Patronage
Austin Museum of Art, BMW, FUBA (Federated Union of Black Artists), Joburg Art Gallery
Rand Merchant Bank, Vodacom, Spier Wines, Museum Africa, Johannesburg, Museum for African Art, New York Vassar College, Yale University, Chris Angell, Wayne Barker, Debs Burki, Jeffrey Burki, David Cudaback, Simphiwe Dana, Martin Deutsch, Jim Figura, Tommy Figura, Joachim Esteve, Francis Ferguson, Tunde Giwa, John Hersey, Ann Hersey, Diane Hersey, Rose Klabin, Ed Leffingwell, Gerard Malanga, Thandiswa Mazwai, Zanele Mbeki, Diane Milheiser, Ross Milheiser
William O’Neill, Marylin Oshman, Patricia Patton, Bud and Betsy Schulberg, Mongane Wally Serote, Lois Stark, Liz Thomson, Patricia Thrane, Barbra Wertkins
2012 – “Paper Vision – Imbono” at Arts on Main Johannesburg
2010 – “Masks” at Arts on Main Johannesburg
2007 – “Rituals Past and Present,” Line Gallery, presented by the
Troyeville Arts Initiative, Johannesburg SA
2006 – “Dreaming White City,” Salomon Arts, New York City, USA
2006 – “Rain Dance,” Pretoria Gallery, SA
2006 – “Samson Mnisi,” Gerard Sekoto Gallery, Alliance Francais, Johannesburg, SA
2005 – “One Man Show,” curated by Carol Hacker, Bamboo Gallery,
2005 – “Solo Show,” Everard Read Gallery, Johannesburg, SA.
2004 – “Solo Exhibition,” curated by Carol Hacker, Firs of Rosebank,
2003 – “Street Life,” Museum Africa, Johannesburg, SA.
2001 – “Hot Caviar Dogs,” Chashama Theatre, Time Square, New York,
2000 – “Path=+,” CPC SA, presented by CrossPathCulture, Johannesburg,
1999 – “De’ametis,” Saint-Leu, Alliance Francais, Reunion Island.
1996 – “Samson at the Corner,” Market Theatre Gallery, Johannesburg, SA.
Two Man Shows
2008 – “No. 1, Art + Commerce,” 55 Central Park West, Samson Mnisi +
Cannon Hersey. New York City, USA
2007 – “Two Dogs,” Samson Mnisi + Cannon Hersey, Daniel Sandoval
Contemporary, presented in affiliation with Texas Collaborative Arts, Houston, USA.
2007 – “Ntjapedi,” Samson Mnisi + Cannon Hersey, Daniel Sandoval
Contemporary, Brooklyn, USA
2007 – “Light the Metropolitan Exchange,” Samson Mnisi + Cannon Hersey, presented in affiliation
with AlAtarra, Brooklyn, USA
2007 – “Here, There and Everywhere,” Gallery 384, Cannon Hersey + Samson Mnisi, Catskill, USA.
2005 – “Free Spirits,” Afronova, Samson Mnisi + Gera Mawi Mazgabu, Johannesburg, SA.
2002 – “Gurus and Lovers,” CACBN, Samson Mnisi + Wayne Barker,
Herouville-Saint Claire France
2002 – “Mirror Visions,” Lincoln Centre of Performing Arts, Walter Reade Theatre, Samson Mnisi +
Cannon Hersey, presented by the African Film Festival New York, New York City, USA
2002 – “Presidential Award ceremony for Nelson Mandela Exhibition,” New York University Library,
Samson Mnisi + Cannon Hersey, New York City, USA
1997 – “B(l)ack in Town,” Samson Mnisi + Clifford Charles
1995 – “Two man show,” Johannesburg Art Foundation, Samson Mnisi +
Clifford Charles, Johannesburg, SA.
2007 – “Double 07,” Polokwane Art Museum, group show with David Koloane, Sam Nhlengthwa and Wayne Barker, Polokwane, SA.
2006 – “Works on Paper,” Salomon Arts, Samson Mnisi, Juan Suarez
Sanchez, New York City, USA
2006 – “The Famous Five,” Johannesburg, SA.
2004 – “The Famous Five,” Pietersburg, SA.
2003 – “Paper for Paper 2,” Sundharam Tagore Gallery, presented by
CrossPathCulture, New York, USA.
2002 – “Paper for Paper,” CrossPathCulture, 50th street between 6th and 7th Ave. Samson Mnisi,
Jay Milder, Cannon Hersey, Gerard Pas, Saatch Hoyt, Rudzani Nemasetoni, Jorge Salazar,
Mihail, John Hersey, Peter Bradley, and Dinkies Sithole, presented by
CrossPathCulture, New York City, USA.
2001 – “Frank,” Samson Mnisi, Clifford Charles and Sandile Zulu, Millenium
Gallery, Johannesburg, SA.
2001 – “Cross+Overs,” Inner city workshop and exhibition, co-directed with Cannon Hersey, presented by CrossPathCulture, Johannesburg, SA.
2000 – “Jumpstart, 2000,” Johannesburg Art Foundation, Samson Mnisi, John Hersey and Cannon Hersey, Johannesburg, SA.
1999 – “Liberated Voices, New Work from a New South Africa,” Norman
Katherine, Sandile Zulu, Thabiso Phokompe, Museum of African art, Berkley University,
Austin Museum of Fine Art
1996 – “Art Attack,” Rembrandt Van Rijn Gallery, Johannesburg, SA.
1995 – “Artist Proof Studio Exhibition,” Rembrandt Van Rijn Gallery, Johannesburg, SA.
1993 – ICA Workshop Gallery, Johannesburg, SA
1992 – “Land & Life Exhibition,” Pretoria Museum of Art, African Cultural Centre, Pretoria, SA.
ABSENCE & ABANDONMENT
This body of work acts as a simile which expresses the sociological and socio-economic structures of the lower class communities. Hence I have painted these waste materials in a landscape composition or rather as landscapes, to juxtapose the peoples living conditions with rubbish. The Waste material is symbolic to how fragile, unstable and unhygienic these living conditions are to the lower class. My works also aims at emphasizing the notion of using something and then throw it away after using it, as this is a trend amongst our political leaders who use people to vote for them and afterwards forget about them. These works also aim to illustrate the absence of change in lower class societies and the abandonment of the lower class people.
2012 North – South, Jo’ Burg Student Exhibition Fringe NSA
Curated by Gordon Froud
2013 North- South, Jo’Burg Student Exhibition Fringe curated by Gordon Froud
2013 Mashumi Art Projects –
Group Exhibition @ Next door restaurant on Vilakazi str Orlando West.
Awards and experiences
2008 Worked at Ackerman’s @ The Glen as casual
2009 Certificate from Youth Empowerment Network
Directed by David Liknaitzky and Pinkie Barmet
2012 -Tried out for the Thami Mnyele Ekurhuleni art awards.
2012 – Painted a Portrait for Exxaro portrait project (Chenette Swanepoel)
2012 Painted a Mural at the Joburg Zoo Kids Educational centre(3rd year studends)
Andrew was born in the small rural town of Moruleng in the North West province of South Africa. In his formative years his family moved to the city of Johannesburg amongst the hustle and bustle of the urban life, where he currently resides.
His passion and love for the visual arts was identified by his teachers through nursery school right up to High school. This led him to enrol at the University of Johannesburg, which enhanced his knowledge in the world of visual arts and enriching his opportunities. His education at art school has Moulded Andrew into a well-rounded visual artist and youth.
He completed his National diploma in Fine Arts in 2012 in painting and drawing, and in 2013 he completed his BTech degree majoring in painting. He has participated in a group exhibitions such as the University of Johannesburg student show case group exhibition, North-South central Fringe of Johannesburg group exhibition, North South student show case traveling group exhibition to name a few. His most notable achievement is getting a painting merit award at the Ekurunuleni 2012 Thami Mnyele Fine Arts Awards ,Curated group Exhibition.
• Ekurunuleni Thami Mnyele Fine Arts Awards ,Curated group Exhibition
• North-South central Fringe of Johannesburg, Curated group Exhibition
• North-South central Fringe of Bloemfontein, Curated group Exhibition
• University of Johannesburg final examinations group exhibition, UJ FADA Gallery
• University of Johannesburg Student Show Case group Exhibition, UJ FADA Gallery
• North-South Student Show Case traveling group Exhibition, UJ FADA Gallery
• North-South Student Show Case traveling group Exhibition, BODUTU Gallery
• North-South Student Show Case traveling group Exhibition, TUT Gallery
• North-South Student Show Case traveling group Exhibition, CUT Freestate Gallery
• MAP(Mashumi Art Projects) group Exhibition, Nex Dor Resturant Vilakazi street Orlando
– Soweto West
• University of Johannesburg Final Examinations BTech group Exhibition, UJ FADA Gallery
My work focuses on urbanisation in Johannesburg. My interest in the city of Johannesburg developed out of the fact that it is the city that I have grown up in since the age of four. I have had the pleasure of witnessing South Africa’s first democratic votes in 1994, and seeing Johannesburg’s transformation from the early nineties, mid-nineties to the present. I still live in Johannesburg and am confronted by poverty, pollution, and urban decay every day of my life. I have seen the effects that
urbanisation has had on the city of Johannesburg in relation to its physical change, socio-economic and political change post-apartheid. My areas of interest are the people who live in the inner city and the environment within the inner city.
My work deals with the negative effects of rapid urbanisation in Johannesburg and the pressures and the strains of the people I encounter and interact with on a daily basis as we go about our business. Based on my encounters with these people I felt the need to investigate the social predicament of my city and understand the root causes of the current inner city decay.
My work is a form of social commentary and deals with the socio-economic challenges that the majority of black South Africans face in post-colonial South Africa. My focal subject matter is rapid urbanisation in the inner city of Johannesburg and the pollution and rubbish among which the inner city residents live. My paintings incorporate more than one medium as they are a fusion of collage and acrylic paint. My works are produced from actual photographs that I take on my daily travels around the inner city of Johannesburg and its outskirts.
Untitled Performance piece for the Imagination Room synopsis
By Megan Mace and Bogosi Sekhukhuni (performed at the launch night of the Bombay Sapphire Imagination Room)
We were using the cans of Lucky Star tinned fish, as the main facilitator for guiding the piece. Both of us were sitting within a plastic blow up pool which will be filled with the tinned fish. Along with this there is a sound system (maybe a hi-fi), playing a selection of
popular/commercial South African house songs. Bogosi or myself(Megan) will then take turns to get out of the pool and change the track whilst the other eats some of the fish. The other will then return into the pool to drink a glass of champagne.
This piece creates a dialogue between an iconic brand (Lucky Star) with a broad history (of socio-politics) in relation to looking at it in the contemporary, in terms of the commoditisation of the brand within South Africa’s popular youth culture. Lucky Star’s commodification as art object also brings with it, this loss of its authentic value, to a different and new market. Playing the house music ,not only acts the pace maker for the performance, but stands as a narrating device for making this commentary on popular South African culture but also speaks towards the context in which/where Lucky Star is eaten and by whom.
“Remember Andy Warhol’s iconic Campbell’s Soup print edition?! Think of that in the South African context.”-Roli
It should be noted that, in addition to this synopsis, the piece also conjured up thoughts of businessman and sushi king Kenny Kunene.
Bombay Sapphire cordially invites you to the Bombay Sapphire Imagination Room’s opening of the pop up painting exhibition featuring artists:
Pat Mautloa, Loyiso Mkize and Kenny Nkosi.
Opening; 21 November 2013
Time: 7:00PM Sharp! Venue: Bombay Sapphire Imagination Room 1394 Vundla Drive, Rockville, Soweto.
Join us for a display of artistic splendour and delicious Bombay Sapphire cocktails.
Prepare to be intrigued, provoked and tantalized as Bombay Sapphire, for the very first time in South Africa, launches an initiative that supports imagination through curating local artists worldwide with the arrival of their pop-up gallery in the heart of Soweto.
The Bombay Imagination Room, curated by visionary arts group Mashumi Art Projects (MAP), will pop up from November 14th at one of the most iconic places in the township, the location of the old Panyaza chisa nyama at 1394 Vundla Drive in Rockville, for just three weeks. With the aim to reflect recognition of Soweto as an artistic and cultural hub, The Bombay Imagination Room will also to give Sowetans and visitors alike the opportunity to interact with art in an emotive setting.
Over this time, visitors will not only infuse themselves with internationally acclaimed works from some of the finest home grown artists, but will also enjoy a Bombay SapphireGin which uses only the finest botanicals created through its special Vapour Infusion process.
“Bombay Sapphire is proud to be associated with such a great concept which is infused with imagination in highlighting the finest South African art,” says Leigh Hofmeyr, marketing manager for Bombay Sapphire.
Each week, a different art medium, from print and performance to photography and painters, will be showcased at the gallery in a curated exhibition – with artists of the ilk of Soweto-based and Mpumalanga-born fine artist Kenny Nkosi, internationally award-winning photographer, Jodi Bieber, and pioneering painter, David Koloane, whose works are part of a number of collections worldwide, all part of the roster.
The genres confirmed for the Bombay Imagination Room are:
Dr David Koloane
Painters and collagist
Megan Mace and Bogosi Sekhukhune
Each genre will be launched on Thursday nights at the artists’ preview, where the following week’s exhibition will be showcased. Every Saturday, the Bombay Imagination Room will host intimate Bombay Brunches where food will be paired with exciting imaginative cocktails, and Sapphire Sundays will see DJ Kenzhero play host for that last drink before a Monday.
The Bombay Imagination Room will open daily from 10:00 unit 18:00 except Wednesdays.
For more on the Bombay Imagination Room:
Web – www.bombayimaginationroom.co.za
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bombay-Imagination-Room/584604634910471
Twitter – https://twitter.com/BSImagination
Instagram – http://instagram.com/BSImagination
About Bombay Sapphire
The world’s fastest growing gin brand by volume and value. Based on a secret 1761 recipe, Bombay Sapphire gin is created by perfectly balancing a unique combination of 10 hand-selected exotic botanicals from around the world. The natural flavours of the botanicals are captured through a delicate distillation process called Vapour Infusion which results in the tantalising, smooth and complex taste that is Bombay Sapphire.
Bombay Sapphire – INFUSED WITH IMAGINATION™
Bombay Sapphire aims to inspire people into expanding their minds, thinking differently to reveal more about themselves and their Imaginations. The team at Bombay Sapphire believes everyone has imagination and therefore aims to give everyone the opportunity to be inspired, and to infuse their imagination with Bombay Sapphire.
Enjoy Bombay Sapphire responsibly. BOMBAY SAPPHIRE IS A TRADEMARK.