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.
Ever wonder what a local comic book superhero would look like? What sort of mischief he’d get upto after discovering his new talents… The villains, sidekicks and not forgetting the damsels who’s acquaintance he makes along the way to becoming a well known hero. Oh, what awesome super powers he’ll have? …well don’t look any further!
Kwezi’s just landed and he means business.
Loyiso Mkize, a Cape Town based artist and co illustrator of the hip SUPA STRIKAS comic book and animation series on DSTV’S Disney Channel, launches his independent project under the ‘LOYISOMKIZEART’ flagship. At a previous design share party, Loyiso described KWEZI as the manifestation of a life long dream to create a simple enough character to identify with every African on the continent.
“Set on a contemporary South African backdrop, Kwezi a 19 year old boy that discovers he has superpowers, and so the journey towards his purpose begins…” An exciting intro into our own new local comic book superhero.
Loyiso Mkize was born in 1987 in Butterworth in the Eastern Cape but studied in Cape Town where he completed a Diploma in Graphic Design at CPUT. Loyiso exhibited his body of work from “REFLECTIONS ETERNAL” at the Bombay Sapphire Imagination Room in Rockville, Soweto last November, a show curated by Mashumi Art Projects and more recently at a New York showcase with several other talented South African artists.
Tonight his first independent comic book officially launches online. The first issue will be downloadable for free. Stay tuned for more updates. The link will be available on the Mashumi Art Projects facebook page in a few hours. https://www.facebook.com/MashumiArtProjects
Article written by Roli Mhlanga