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From Limpopo with love

Meet Giggs Kgole, one of the youngest gallery-owners in Africa

By Gugulethu Mkhabela | October 10, 2018 | Category Design

Limpopo is renowned for the most picturesque bush and wildlife resorts and is home to movers and giants such as musicians Dr. Tumi, iconic athlete Caster Semenya, designer Bonolo Helen Chepape, iconic artist Nelson Makamo, and Giggs Kgole. 

Giggs Kgole is an internationally acclaimed visual artist who is silently soaring and making a mark with his provocative and innovative artwork. The 21-year-old has already exhibited in Cannes, France and in Italy.

In 2013, he was part of a student exchange program with Glenalmond College in Scotland and in 2017 he received a Presidential scholarship to study in Rome at John Cabot University. He has also been fortunate enough to be mentored by renowned artists such as William Kentridge and Ayanda Mabulu. The artist is set to keep climbing the ranks in the art world and hopes to create a legacy as a unique and versatile artist.

The young gallery owner’s work is a discussion of the interplay between the identities of people living in rural Limpopo and the world which they inhabit.  The artist grew up in Kutupu village and vividly depicts and tells stories about the daily lives and experiences of the people from his village. They tell tales of struggle, of abandonment, of promises broken, dreams deferred and of sheer resilience in the face of everyday injustice.

Kgole’s work is typified by his use of anaglyphs, where two versions of his composite photographic images are printed in different colours (typically blue and red) onto canvas.  He then applies collage and paint to the printed work.  The viewer is then asked to view the work through glasses with a red filter and a blue filter as lenses, creating a dramatic 3D effect.  The glasses play the role of enhancing the viewers experience and relationship to the work, as it helps you interact with the work at a more intimate level.

His work can be viewed at his studio in Victoria Yards and at his gallery GasLamp in New Doornfontein, Johannesburg. GasLamp is a versatile space that offers creatives a platform to showcase their work.

Kgole is also planning a project with the Vuyani Dance Theatre in Collaboration with Market Theatre. In 2019 Giggs will be pursuing a year-long Artist Residency in Cannes. He share a bit more below:

The most iconic artist for me is…Jean Michel Basquiat. I believe our early lives and careers have many similarities and I love his fearlessness and courage as he entered the art scene in New York. I hope to be as successful if not more, when I reach 25 years of age.

My design philosophy is.... if you can dream it you can create it, the brain has vast hidden knowledge which our dreams are a bridge to.

My key influences are.... my dreams, my family and Goku from Dragon Ball Z.

I love... Gelato, sleeping in, and my hair.

I always carry... A lucky die in my dad’s old wallet in hopes that it will be kept company by lots of silver coins in the near future.

My favourite building is... St. Peter’s Cathedral, I loved walking past it every single day going to school in Rome. 

I recently visited... Gaborone, Botswana for the first time. It's beautiful.

I am looking forward to... 2019 to start my Artist residency in Cannes, France to help grow my name in European art scene and get one step closer to becoming one of Africa’s most successful visual artist.

Words of Wisdom... The most important thing is life is the pursuit of happiness, if you’re not happy, work towards the small things which will lead you to pure joy.

Images: Supplied

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