Black womxn artists shine brightly

Karabo Poppy Moletsane’s collaboration with global
Karabo Poppy Moletsane’s collaboration with global brand Nike

Multi-award-winning illustrator and street artist Karabo Poppy Moletsane collaborated with Nike for its latest Air Force 1 collection as well as with beauty brand Ponds. The artist’s distinctive style has become a signature that is bold in its aesthetic and inspiration.

Moletsane’s work was desired by multiple campaigns this year. This brought her further collaborations with brands such as Coca-Cola and resulted in her mural work appearing at home and in the US. She also made it on to this year’s Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 list. Visual activist and queer photographer Zanele Muholi has continued challenging white cisgender heteronormativity as being the status quo with work that has been on display in galleries across South Africa, Europe and the US.

Bronwyn Katz, this year’s winner of the FNB Art Pr
Bronwyn Katz, this year’s winner of the FNB Art Prize

Kimberley-born visual artist Bronwyn Katz, this year’s winner of the FNB Art Prize, produces multimedia works that engage with sociopolitical and restorative conversations.

The recent exhibitions of Gabrielle Goliath, the winner of this year’s Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Visual Art, have powerfully commented on the grave social injustice issue of gender-based violence in South Africa.

There were also more opportunities for artists to showcase their work this year. New additions to the Joburg Art Fair week included the debut of the Latitudes Art Fair, which focused on contemporary art from Africa. It was founded by Nokwazi Zimu and Makgati Molebatsi and is the first art fair owned exclusively by women.

Lunga Ntila an emerging artist with a unique talen
Lunga Ntila an emerging artist with a unique talent

There has also been a wave of independent artists seeking to disrupt the mainstream art scene, such as conceptual photographer Lunga Ntila whose stylistic focus is distortion, via experiments with collages and photography.

This emerging artist’s work was exhibited at this year’s Joburg Art Fair, the Investec Cape Town Art Fair and Design Indaba. She has demonstrated that for contemporary artists without gallery representation there is power in using platforms such as Instagram to inspire and share art. Her work is part of a movement to expand the freedom of expression for black womxn artists in South Africa.

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