• Andrew Ntshabele

    Andrew Ntshabele
    • Artist Statement
      • My work focuses on urbanisation in Johannesburg. My interest in the city of Johannesburg developed out of the fact that it is the city that I have grown up in since the age of four. I have had the pleasure of witnessing South Africa’s first democratic votes in 1994, and seeing Johannesburg’s transformation from the early nineties, mid-nineties to the present. I still live in Johannesburg and am confronted by poverty, pollution, and urban decay every day of my life. I have seen the effects that urbanisation has had on the city of Johannesburg in relation to its physical change, socio-economic and political change post-apartheid. My areas of interest are the people who live in the inner city and the environment within the inner city.

        My work deals with the negative effects of rapid urbanisation in Johannesburg and the pressures and the strains of the people I encounter and interact with on a daily basis as we go about our business. Based on my encounters with these people I felt the need to investigate the social predicament of my city and understand the root causes of the current inner city decay.

        My work is a form of social commentary and deals with the socio-economic challenges that the majority of black South Africans face in post-colonial South Africa. My focal subject matter is rapid urbanisation in the inner city of Johannesburg and the pollution and rubbish among which the inner city residents live. My paintings incorporate more than one medium as they are a fusion of collage and acrylic paint. My works are produced from actual photographs that I take on my daily travels around the inner city of Johannesburg and its outskirts.
    • Biography
      • B.Tech Visual Arts (University Of Johannesburg)

        Andrew was born in the small rural town of Moruleng in the North West province of South Africa. His family moved to Johannesburg in his formative years and he grew up with the  hustle and bustle of urban city life.

        His passion and love for the visual arts was identified by his teachers at an early age, and having completed high school he enrolled at the University of Johannesburg to study Fine Art. He completed his National diploma in Fine Arts in 2012 in painting and drawing, and in 2013 he completed his BTech degree majoring in painting.

        Selected Exhibitions:

        Art it is, Oil on canvas group exhibition, 11 Chester road, Parkwood

        Live painting and Solo Exhibition, Meetings Africa 2015, Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg
        KaPlan group exhibition, Constitutional Hill, 1 Kotze Street, Johannesburg
        Turbine art fair, Assemblage Studios and Fresh Produce emerging artists group exhibition
        The Henry George Gallery, After the winter group exhibition, 45 6th street, Parkhurst
        Joburg Fringe, The collective group exhibition presented by Artist Fund

        Two-Person Exhibition, MAP(Mashumi Art Projects), Nex Dor Restaurant Vilakazi street Orlando-Soweto West
        Two-Person Exhibition, The other side of Joburg, StopSign Art Gallery,203 Fox Street, Maboneng Precinct
        Visual Art Riot group exhibition opening, at the Basha Uhuru Freedom Festival,presented by Constitution Hill, in association with Kalshnikovv Gallery
        IDC Gallery group exhibition

        University of Johannesburg Student Show Case group exhibition, UJ FADA Gallery
        North-South Student Show Case traveling group Exhibition, UJ FADA Gallery
        North-South Student Show Case traveling group Exhibition, BODUTU Gallery
        North-South Student Show Case traveling group Exhibition, TUT Gallery
        North-South Student Show Case traveling group Exhibition,  CUT Freestate Gallery
        MAP(Mashumi Art Projects) group Exhibition, Nex Dor Restaurant Vilakazi street Orlando- Soweto West

        Ekurunuleni Thami Mnyele Fine Arts Awards ,Curated group Exhibition
        University of Johannesburg final examinations group exhibition, UJ FADA Gallery

        Commissioned to paint a portrait (mine worker) for the Exxaro portrait project.
    • Interview
      • Which new trends or South African artists do you find inspiring at the moment?
        The South African artists that inspire me at present are Kay Hassan, Kagiso Pat Mautloa and Mbongeni Buthelezi. As they reflect about life in Johannesburg and the plight of the poor in the city as well as the pollution and urbanisation problem the city faces. The way they grapple and deal with their subject matter in their artworks inspires me in my creative making process.

        Which South African deceased artist do you most admire and why?

        I admire Gerard Sekoto as I feel his works were a form of social commentary. And through his paintings made the world aware of the apartheid in South Africa. He’s early paintings depicted the poor working class in the townships he stayed in. What he could not express in words, he’s pain and he’s sufferings and longing to come back to his place of birth. He expressed through he’s paintings.

        Which exhibition that you have visited made the greatest impact on you and why?

        The exhibition that made an impact on was an exhibition at the Constitutional Hill in 2005 in my matric year. It really awakened my interests in the history of South Africa. The artworks which were on display highlighted the oppression and difficulties of apartheid and our transition into post-apartheid South Africa. It proved to me how powerful art is in getting a message across to those see it.

        Where do you get your inspiration for your work?
        The inspiration of my work comes from the streets of inner city Johannesburg. Since I stay in the inner city, I have an ongoing desire to capture the living conditions of the people living in the inner city.

        Do you have any rituals or habits involving your art-making that you can tell us about?
        Before I start a painting I get in to a quite space and prepare myself spiritually. As I believe that art is not just a physical interaction I have with the paint brushes, the canvas and the paints and different kinds of media I use. Art to me is a spiritual interaction which takes me into a spiritual realm where I grapple and interact on a spiritual level with the subject matter and the media I use.

        What do you like most about being an artist?
        What I like most about being an artist is that I don’t feel boxed that I can express myself through my art in whichever way I want. I feel like I am a voyeur who critically analyses daily life and the people around me. And choose not to be one of the sheep in this rat race of life, but rather a leader who creates a path and leaves a trail for others to follow. That what begin an artist is it’s been courageous and bold no matter what. Art to me is not just a job it’s a passion.  

        How do you handle bad days when you experience artist's block?

        The days where I feel like no matter how hard I try I am just not getting things right creatively. That’s when I go for a long walk to get my inspiration back or I exercise. I cannot work on an artwork when I am not at my best creatively I must give it my all at all times.

        What is your greatest achievement as an artist to date?

        My greatest achievement was getting the Ekhuruleni Thami Mnyele fine arts merit award in 2012 when I was doing my third year at university. The award to me validated that I am meant to do what I am doing and that all my efforts and hard work throughout the years did not go in vain.

        Do you feel that you want to make a difference to the world or in people's lives? If yes, how?
        Yes I want to make a big difference in people’s lives. I feel that the past three years I have been teaching and lecturing art, I have made a change in my student’s lives through the way I interact with them and encourage them. I would also like to give back to the community by establishing art halls and artist studios for up and coming promising artists. And help fund them in their dream of becoming artist as I was also helped and sponsored on my journey to becoming an artist.

        What are your plans for the coming year?
        My plans for the coming year are to produce as many artworks as I can and do as many group and solo exhibitions as possible.
  • Walking to a Better Tomorrow I - Painting by Andrew Ntshabele ANDREW NTSHABELE
    Walking to a Better Tomorrow I
    Painting / 55 x 75 cm
  • Walking to a Better Tomorrow III - Painting by Andrew Ntshabele ANDREW NTSHABELE
    Walking to a Better Tomorrow III
    Painting / 55 x 75 cm
  • Walking to a Better Tomorrow II - Painting by Andrew Ntshabele ANDREW NTSHABELE
    Walking to a Better Tomorrow II
    Painting / 55 x 75 cm
  • The Provider II - Mixed Media by Andrew Ntshabele
    The Provider II
    Mixed Media / 82 x 102 cm