We can never shower enough appreciation and celebration on the unique, talented African women contributing to the art industry. We have compiled a list of five African female artists that includes the iconic Zanele Muholi and Ruth Ossai, for you to watch out for this year.
Celebrated South African artist and visual activist, Zanele Muholi, is famous for her photography, video and installation works which focus on black lesbian, gay, transgender and intersex people. Muholi’s latest works include Somnyama Ngonyama (Hail the Dark Lioness) which feature self-portraits of alter egos. Her work has been exhibited at the Yancey Richardson Gallery in New York in 2015, featured in London from July-October, 201and in Times Square, New York City, as digital billboards during the city’s autumn 2017 Performa Biennial festival.
The Nigerian born photographer, now based in the UK, is famous for her photographic works that showcase traditional Nigerian backdrops and cast members as well as the short film and photo series she collaborated on with filmmaker Akinola Davies Jr. The film, called Gidi Gidi Bụ Ugwu Eze (‘Unity is Strength’), was made for fashion brand Kenzo and was based on Nigerian youth.
My oga(s) at the top Mr Onanuga with my brother @stephen.tayo 💚🇳🇬💚 last week prepping my snap of my Uncle ready to ship for: @redhooklabs @nataalmedia : New African Photography III, 4-13 May, Red Hook Labs, 133 Imlay St, Brooklyn, New York, open 10am-6pm daily Opening reception: May 4, 6-10 pm at Red Hook Labs, Brooklyn RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org This year’s show features six amazing female artists: @fdiabate, @rahimagambo, @keyez, @alicemannnn and @ronanksm (go check the other artists) 💚💚💚
Currently a content producer for Live Mag SA, Cole Ndelu is a local photographer who studied at Stellenbosch Academy of Design and Photography and hails from Durban Ndelu is best known for her image called Pride in the Panther after it was shortlisted for the Sony World Photography Awards and exhibited in Somerset House as well as being featured in Design Indaba 2018’s Emerging Creatives Class.
Famous for her Southern Guild Exhibition featuring her bronze sculptures and Mighty Ndebele sculpture nominated for the Most Beautiful Object In South Africa Award at Design Indaba 2018, artist Justine Mahoney creates collages and sculptures that tell stories about her upbringing in 1970s Johannesburg, South Africa. Her works explore darker difficult topics in a playful manner. Mahoney attended the Johannesburg School of Art, Ballet, Drama and Music, and achieved a National Diploma in Fine Art from the Technikon of Witwatersrand in 1991.
Mighty Ndebele is certainly Mighty. She is almost as tall as that glass building on Joburg’s Diagonal Street. She is a cyborg who wades through mine dumps in search of gold, she does not know she is made of it. Her Mickey Mouse antennae pick up code from Wi-Fi fallout – with this information she can track the making of history. She comes from Wonderboom Pretoria where here people await her return with riches for her tribe. They do not know the riches they already have.
Karabo Poppy Moletsane
A visual illustrator and street artist currently trending for creating Marie Claire Sa’s June 2018 cover and designing the Millenial blanket in collaboration with Something Good Studio, Karabo Poppy Moletsane is definitely an artist to watch. Currently practicing her trade for Mother Tongue Creative House which she founded in Pretoria, Moletsane studied a BA in Visual Communication and has been awarded and recognised for her vast range of street art and illustration projects.
Posing with the ‘Millennial’ blanket I designed in collaboration with @smtnggoodstudio 🖤✍🏾. Our exhibition at @no_end_art has come to an end but if you would like to purchase a blanket like the one in the picture, you can dm me and we’ll talk details. This is also open to anyone living outside of South Africa – I got you guys this time 🇺🇸🇸🇬🇨🇦🇫🇷🇱🇸🇰🇷🇿🇼. 📷: @tanyakloppers — — — #KaraboPoppy #Millennial #Blanket #BlackAndWhite #AfricanAesthetic #Design #Illustration #WomenInIllustration #Exhibition #Johannesburg #DopeBlackArt #TomboyStyle #AndrogynousBeast #StreetStyle #CalvinKlein #GoodGoodGood #Nike #NikeWomen
Featured Image: Mercedes Alvares, Unsplash