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About The Artist

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Zondi Skosana, with a degree from the Technikon Pretoria (now TUT), has a penetrating insight into a less public and more personal aspect of black identity: the rural roots, deprived background and strong family bonds shared by many. But these are not clichéd or predictable paintings, not ‘township’, ‘transitional’ or ‘protest’ art. They are childhood memories, social commentary , dreams of family and even nostalgia for a vanishing lifestyle, but translated into authenticity by a sophisticated eye and a sure hand.

The bare earth or clean swept yards, furnished with little more than hut, broken bicycle or scattered stones, are depicted in ice cream parlour pastels which manage to convey aridity, dustiness and barrenness, as well as a dreamlike longing.

Within each environment, Skosana demarcates a stage; an upturned enamel bowl, a wheelbarrow or miniature landscape within the larger one. Here, figures of a classical immobility and nobility act out social rites, moral lessons and private narratives.

A matriarchal St Christopher carries the grown men of her family; a Black Icarus, perhaps the artist himself, falls from the sky. These are beautiful and posed works, with little surrealist surprises hidden here and there.

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