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Get Art Smart with Mashumi

Graeme Wyllie


Zanele Mashumi hopes to influence the growing art community

Although she wasn’t formally exposed to art at school, Zanele Mashumi attended Mofolo Community Centre as a girl where she took art classes under the guidance of Kenny Nkosi. After matric she honed her skills with fine art classes at the Funda Community Training Centre.

Now at just 26 years old, that she manages Kenny as an artist, runs a shared gallery space on Soweto’s happening Vilakazi Street and has worked on exhibitions such as the FNB Joburg Art Fair, speaks volumes of the impact art has had on her.

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'It was in my second year at UJ that I knew I wanted to start something in Soweto that would introduce art to the people,' says Zanele. Her monthly shows through Mashumi Art Projects serve to connect emerging artists from Soweto and surrounds with first-time buyers.

What art would you buy with R10 000? One of Tony Gum’s photographs from her Black Coca-Cola series. I’d love to exhibit her work one day. R50 000? A painting by Simphiwe Ndzube, whose work combines the literal and abstract aspects of Xhosa initiations. R500 000? Anything by Lionel Smit. I’ve always wanted to paint like him. R1 000 000? Work by William Kentridge. Which one artwork do you regret not buying? I don’t have that regret as yet.

What one artist’s work should our readers buy right now? Simphiwe Ndzube.

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New artists you’ve got your eye on? Asanda Kupa, Audrey Anderson, Banele Njadayi and Tony Gum.

Who is currently seriously big on the local art scene? Blessing Ngobeni and Benon Lutaaya.

Which local artists are doing well on the international market at the moment? Mohau Modisakeng.

What’s your favourite piece of art in your own home? A painting of my own: it was part of a series called Child Care Takers.

What would you buy now for investment purposes? I would definitely buy work by Mohau Modisakeng, Bambo Sibiya and Lionel Smit.

And because you love it? Audrey Anderson.

Is there a dominant theme in current local art? Art has moved to a very commercial space; works are very bold and colourful. They can fit into any space. Who is your favourite contemporary local artist? Asanda Kupa.

And great South African master? It would have to be Kagiso Pat Mautloa because I just love everything he does. Describe your personal art preference. I love portraits. They’re expressed in so many different ways based on the artist’s view and how the artists identify themselves within the portrait.

Visit mashumiartprojects.wordpress.com

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