Artist Spotlight

Until 29 October, Mall of Africa is offering its visitors an all-around enterprising experience: Shop, dine, wine and view extraordinary artworks in its first-ever Art Collective; a group contemporary art exhibition. We uncover some of the collective’s talented creatives.

Read: Mall of Africa’s inaugural Art Collective is a celebration of local talent and immersive retail.

Mozambiquan-born contemporary artist, Dario, after fleeing Mozambique for South Africa and taking up residence in Alexander (an informal settlement in Jo’burg), Dario learned several art techniques under Steven Mavusu, including oil, acrylic, collage, and watercolours. His work is influenced by artistic greats such as Azimo and Malongatoni, but there is a definitive unique and signatory interplay of vibrant colours and forms in his work.

As a continuation of his mission to create awareness of the dangers of pollution and global warning, he started a series of artworks using collage where he uses images from old magazines – a technique that emphasizes the need for recycling. With this body of works he tries to portray the constant struggle and hardships that women endure because not only are they responsible for household chores, but they also need to work full-time. And in the same token, they maintain the integrity of being housewives. The reason why he uses images of furniture and other objects that surround us every day, is to remind the viewer that at the end of the day ‘Home is where the heart is’.

Linda Hannah
Following her attendance at Johannesburg School of the Arts, Linda Hannah went on to study fashion design and pattern making under Joey Spiller. A creatively talented entrepreneur, she ran her own clothing manufacturing business and co-owns and manages a charity venture with Hellen White.

The soul of an artist is an ongoing area of exploration and adventure – in this vein, she produces collages whilst simultaneously doing community work and raising an adopted child.

Cobus Haupt
Sculptor Cobus Haupt is best known for his bronze effigies, the signature feature being the flawed bumps and unresolved imperfections left intentionally to highlight the casting process. This trait gives equal importance to the method and medium as it does to the human figure portrayed.

Haupt has exhibited extensively across South Africa, and is widely collected by both private and corporate individuals. He has been commissioned by the National Heritage Monument Project to complete a public sculpture of Walter Rabusana which currently resides at Fountains Valley, Pretoria. He was also commissioned to create a sculpture of J.T Gumede which is currently on view in Pietermaritzburg.

Alex Krenz
Alex Krenz was born in Cape Town in 1972 to son of artist Alfred Krenz. Born into this creative family and heavily influenced by his grandfather’s artistic expression, Alex started to experiment with his own form of abstract expression. For five years Alex focused on creating aesthetic beauty through his art, and by 2005 became one of South Africa’s top selling contemporary artists. 

While building his art career, Krenz developed a parallel passion for researching world issues – the ‘sick’ state of the world caused by the influence of the established global economic system. The popularity and celebrated ‘beauty’ of his art started to feel hypocritical and Alex eventually turned his back on his painting in a quest for some other form of expression. Stuck in a very dark place for several years, Alex realised that he needed to return to his natural home in painting and has re-emerged into his art with an entirely different approach and attitude to his art. He is now painting with new passion and vigour, driven by the realisation that he abandoned his natural calling and has come back to it with deep gratitude, appreciation and a need to express in a higher way.

Khotso Kupi
‘I began using simple lines and colours as a basic function. These lines highlight important features of something or a specific idea,’ says painter Khotso Kupi. His work is defined by a painting technique named ‘Caturism’, where the natural structure of a subject is broken down and emphasised in lines. Colours are also used for a stronger effect.

‘My painting technique was influenced by the artworks of Ayanda Nkosi, Richard Scott and a style developed by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. In my recent works I discovered that such a technique can be achieved with different medium, for example: acrylic, oil or enamel paint can be used,’ he concludes.

Born in Mozambique, Jemmiro relocated to South Africa in 2003 to become a full-time artist and to escape what he describes as the ‘limitations in the Mozambique art scene’. He studied drawing, painting and print-making and has participated in a number of group and solo exhibitions in Johannesburg and Maputo.

In the efforts to find himself as an artist, Jemmiro produced a number of significant works, notably ‘Fragments’, ‘Finding the Inner Child’ and ‘Under the Moonlight’. He has recently become drawn to the super blur art movement, which he discovered on the internet and became interested in. ‘Saudades’ is the word he uses to describe his work. It doesn’t have a direct translation in English but to Jemmiro it represents memories and moments in time that are akin to nostalgia. In his opinion, there is too much technology and too little social life; thus, his super blur art expresses the longing for those days and moments in time when humans connected to each other instead of technology. His paintings are not qualified by time and space, but rather the memory of human emotion captured on canvas.

‘Born in Casablanca, a country that I consider an open-air museum, a real wonderland famous for its amazing artistic wealth – I left it 26 years ago and have since travelled tremendously,’ says Moroccan-born painter Loayo. Travelling and cultures have influenced and enhanced the artist’s life – his paintings reflect the beautiful experiences and lives from all corners of the world. ‘I take inspiration from my past, my present, around me, in me, and in human faces and bodies.’

Shereen Lurie
Living and workin in Johannesburg, Shereen Lurie’s paintings are bold, striking and highly visual. Their intent is to incite joy and positivity in the viewer. Shereen is the daughter of a self-taught artist, and has always been surrounded by creativity. During her stint living and working in the UK, she prioritized immersing herself in the myriad of international art influences and trends. The abstract medium allows her to utilize an abundance of colour and texture in order to communicate emotions without being constrained by conventional forms based in reality.

Ayanda Mabulu
Born in King William’s Town in a township called Zwelitsha, Ayanda Mabulu is a self-taught artist whose work focuses on social upheavals and matters affecting the politics of the black body.
Inspired by people, music, jazz and hip-hop culture, Mabulu tackles issues of inequality and its experiences in contemporary society.

Mabulu’s work – through use of satirical imagery – depicts and juxtaposes powerful leaders, masters and mistresses with defenseless victims of greed, oppression, poverty and systematic racism. His work is collected internationally by influential museums, galleries, diplomats, businesspeople and moguls alike, celebrities and members of civil society. ‘

Mbulelo Mabuto
Using life experiences as his primary inspiration, Mbulelo’s work reflects warmth amidst fragility – a reflection of our day-to-day experiences. He aims to question the idea of the ‘now’, imploring humans to worry less about their past, forgetting all the darkness and instead be filled with love, kindness and warmth.

The crack-like effects in his work communicate an erratic explosion of emotions exposing the fragility of human life. The use of the predominant yellow with a touch of other colours and black represent both darkness and warmth, with warmth dominating darkness. He admits to using his past as a reference, to create the now in preparation for the future.

Dbongz Mahlathi
A street artist from Johannesburg, Dbongz Mahlathi’s love for art began in his early academic years. But his passion for art was sparked in 2008 when he first experienced the buzz of the city and started doing graffiti. He’d observe and study processes, techniques and works of different artists as a tool to equip his art.

‘My introduction to manifesto-driven art – the Superstroke Art Movement – and the fusion of it with street art allows for my goal of colour and texture to be realised. It adds to the impressiveness of the style that I’m perpetually pursuing, through mixed media collage as well as other alternative methods,’ he says. ‘It would be great to communicate through art what language can’t; to have the ability to interpret the years of pursuit into positively influential artworks that resonate with everyday human and to forever vibrate mundane spaces one piece at a time.’

Braam Naude
‘My life’s journey is rooted in art, creativity and design – in the broadest sense. My work is driven by an evolving passion to seek out things that hold intrinsic beauty, then create holistic experiences that appeal to all our human senses. Through the freedom to explore, I challenge and find unique ways of expression in my art works.’

South African-born, and a fondness for exploring fine art from a young age, Naude’s creative career started in his home ‘kontrei’ where he explored various mediums of creativity and exhibited prolifically. Inspired by travel, galleries, design and art fairs, as well as networking with inspiring and leading talents worldwide, the building blocks of his creative career formed.
Crows constantly pop-up in my work and connects my conscious spiritual life as such…. It’s still a great mostly undiscovered inspiration that likes to take flight.

Further artists include Arlindo Maunde, Oni Mkoki, Vincent Mjebe, Ti Mkhanazi, Siyabonga Mlambi, Simphiwe Mlangeni, Splash Motong, Berjoiais Pozniak, McCloud Simango, Anelle Steyn, Eric Sher, Ruhan Janse van Vuuren, Melanie van Zyl, and Cecilia Wilmot.

Visit our Facebook page for a gallery of images and artworks

For more information on the Art Collective, please contact Leigh Rein on +27 83 267 5567; email
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