Award-winning artist, Banele Khoza is renowned for his colourful figurative paintings which are currently displayed at the Zeitz MOCAA. In 2017 he was awarded the prestigious Gerard Sekoto Award at the ABSA Art Gallery for his series Note Making, a collection of drawings that analyses the artist’s feelings on masculinity. The 2017 Absa LÁtelier winner also completed a three-month residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris.
The young prolific artist has curated a group exhibition featuring the works of 34 artists that want to help put a spotlight on some of the challenges South Africa's emerging artists experience. Titled, 'A letter to my 22-year-old self', it opened at the Absa gallery on Sunday 11 November and will run until 25 January 2019.
This December, the artist is collaborating with the Trenery Guild. He has created a unique artwork that was inspired by the Trenery December pattern and colour palette. This has been printed on a beautiful silk scarf that will be given as a gift with purchase to a selection of qualifying customer from 1 December 2018.
Banele recently opened a working studio exhibition space entitled BKhz at 68 Juta in Braamfontein, Johannesburg. The space is more than just a studio-slash-gallery. He shares more about this creative space, his future plans and much more below.
Please share a bit on your journey to birthing BKhz. Also read somewhere that you think it’s a God-given space, please elaborate?
Yes indeed, last year at the start of January, I wrote in my diary that I hope by July 2018 I get to open a pop-up studio. April 2018, the space I had visited over 50 times became available to me for July. Since the opening, people are loving and enjoying the energy of the space that we try to cultivate on a daily basis. We are building the future.
What can a first-time visitor expect/look forward to at BKhz’s space?
Love and warmth. I try to lead my team with love and compassion and we have become a family that cares for each other and the people that walk into this space.
I know each artwork is individual and unique. But is there an artwork you’re most proud of? Why?
I am more proud of my journey as a whole, deciding to follow my life's path has been the greatest decision I have ever made. I have been abundantly blessed in response.
What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t do without in your studio?
My cellphone. I hate to admit it but I draw and romanticize on my phone. I get to capture the moments and reflect later and I am always getting love from different people on a daily- from different parts of the world.
How do you know when a piece/work is finished?
When I have abandoned it for too long. If there is nothing else I can add or deduct, then the piece is complete.
Current or future projects/collaborations you’re excited about?
My collaboration with Trenery that launches on the first of December. I can not wait. And my traveling exhibition that opens in March (it will grace six galleries in 2019 - 2020).
The most iconic artist?
Marlene Dumas, she inspired and gave me an art career to look forward to.
A visual artist/s, designer or architect we need to watch?
Tatenda Chidora (photography), Matt Hazel (painter) and Sandile Mhlongo (The Uniconz)