• Shakes Tembani

    Shakes Tembani
    • Artist Statement
      • In my work I pay tribute to the hard workers in our society: solo parents, breadwinners and church-goers. I often depict uniformed groups with their accordant dress code symbolic of equality, dignity and solidarity.

        I use a deliberate stylised technique of bold, flat colour on canvas in a minimalistic palette to portray human figures recognisable by their group identity rather than their individual characteristics.
    • Biography

      • Born 1975, Meshack 'Shakes' Tembani lives and works in New Crossroads, Cape Town. He has completed numerous diplomas and certificates in art, and has taken part in various group exhibitions since 1999. As a full-time artist, Shakes received numerous commissions for Mosaic in public spaces such as the Clock Tower building at the V&A Waterfront. He constantly explores various avenues of individual expression in a variety of mediums, primarily painting.
        Tembani's signature style utilises strong colour plains, simplifying the subjects and creating a dynamic tension which activates and monumentalises his subjects and their contributions to society at large. Tembani invites viewers to contemplate the nature of the everyday: his current body of work makes use of photographic references of groups of people in uniform, which he transforms into strongly contrasted figures in seemingly empty landscapes.


        Tembani has had two solo exhibitions to date: UnQul0, AVA Cape Town (2011) and  Just Dogs, AVA Cape Town (2009). His works are included in the collections of Haven Holdings (Johannesburg); Robben Island MPLC (Cape Town); Nando’s and the Department of Economic Development and Tourism (Cape Town).

        Selected Exhibitions:


        Solo Exhibitions
        2011
        UNQULO - AVA gallery in Cape Town

        2009
        Just Dogs - AVA gallery Cape Town

        Group Exhibitions:
        2017
        Feast Your Eyes - Nando's Soho, London

        2009
        Artreach in Progress AVA Cape Town

        2008
        RE-CM Waterfront Cape Town
        Soul of Africa (DBSA) JHB
        Artreach – The Best of 2008: AVA Cape Town

        2007
        Making Space at Castle of Good Hope Cape Town

        2006
        Face (in) Cape Town at Castle of Good Hope Cape Town

        2004
        Members Exhibition at AVA Cape Town

        2002
        Annex Gallery Cape Town

        PRIVATE COLLECTIONS
        Imago Mundi - the Luciano Benetton collection
        Haven Holdings JHB
        Nando’s UK
        Robin Island (MPLC) Cape Town
        Dept of Economic Development and Tourism Cape Town



    • Interview
      • Which new trends or South African artists do you find inspiring at the moment?
        Simphiwe Dzube, Kemang Wa Lehulere and Dion Cupido

        Which South African deceased artist do you most admire and why?
        George Pemba whose work was inspired by scenes of daily life – and the use of figures in his compositions.

        If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?
        A work by George Pemba from his series which tackled issues around access to clinics.

        How did you get started? Did you always want to be an artist?


        Yes, I started drawing and playing with colours at an early age.
        What are some of the key themes you explore in your work?


        Life, church goers, single parents and ordinary workers – and dogs, the theme of my solo exhibition at the AVA in 2009.
        What inspired your latest body of work?


        My latest work is inspired by the lives of the ordinary people in my community.
        Tell us more about your creative process.

        I work from my own reference material, images snapped with my phone – and personal experience.

        What drives you as an artist?

        Issues and situations faced by ordinary people during the course of their daily lives.

        Do you have a favourite or most meaningful work?

        Yes,  my painting featured on the exhibition invite for UnQulo in 2011 - the work shows women going to church.

        What is your greatest achievement as an artist to date?

        Having an opportunity to exhibit my work outside of South Africa in many of the Nando’s collections.

        What are your aspirations for the future?

        To continue to participate in group and solo exhibitions.
  • Waiting - Painting by Shakes Tembani SHAKES TEMBANI
    Waiting
    Painting / 120 x 120 cm
    $2 060
  • Ladies - Painting by Shakes Tembani
    SHAKES TEMBANI
    Ladies
    Painting / 150 x 100 cm
  • Rush Hour - Painting by Shakes Tembani
    SHAKES TEMBANI
    Rush Hour
    Painting / 150 x 100 cm