Balekane Legoabe

Balekane Legoabe

Jo'burg | 18 artworks for sale

I work in both digital and traditional media. I create digital collages focusing on animals and/or human figures as my primary subject matter. I also create expressive and colourful mixed media traditional artworks using materials such as paint, ink, masking tape and sand paper. I like to generate my own textures and draw, paint, photograph then scan my textures.

My artworks form part of a body of work that I am currently creating titled “Sleeping Over at Other People’s Houses.”
The series visually explores the darkness and complexities of the emotional and mental lows felt over the last three years due to compromising on held values and truths. The title itself is a metaphor for compromising the values and beliefs that one holds and adopting another’s in order to win favour with them. By choosing to compromise, one is no longer “sleeping at their own house” but “sleeping over at another’s.”
These artworks embody heartache, pain, grief, anxiety, uncertainty, abandonment, confusion and rumination. They explore notions of fearing men, deviating from truth, keeping idols and compromising to one’s detriment.

I want my work to create a visceral experience that encourages and propels viewers to tap into the complexity and obscurity of the emotions that they feel and to recognize that they exist within a liminal space.

BA in Visual Communication with a specialisation in illustration (Open Window Institute)

BA in Film Arts with a specialisation in Motion Design (Open Window Institute)

Pretoria based Balekane Legoabe's digital artwork explores the complexities of values and truths, and the resultant impact on personal and social identity. Balekane is the winner of the 2019 StateoftheART Gallery Award.

Selected Exhibitions

Summer Salon Exhibition - Bag Factory, Johannesburg
Collaborative Exhibition 'The Fatuous State Of Severtity'at TMRW Gallery
Group exhibition Ín This, I Found Myself'- No End Contemporary Art Space, Johannesburg
StateoftheART Gallery Award Finalists Exhibition - Cape Town
Turbine Art Fair - No End Contemporary Art Space Booth, Johannesburg
Joint exhibition with Bianca Brand - No End Contemporary Art Space, Johannesburg
Joint exhibition with MJ Turpin - No End Contemporary Art Space @ FNB Art Jhb.
Which new trends or South African artists do you find inspiring at the moment?
I am hugely inspired by South African artists, Louis De Villiers and Anastasia Pather. I really enjoy the scale of De Villiers’ work and his expressive mark making as well as the way he creates balance through the contrast of his black, white and gold compositions. Pather’s work was one of the things that inspired me to work traditionally. I love her fun, bold and expressive compositions.

Which South African deceased artist do you most admire and why?
I would have to say David Koloane. His work carries a lot of weight - not only because of its historical context and therefore relevance, but also because it’s expressive and emotive. There’s a certain emotionality to his subject matter and manner of mark-making which I really like. I enjoy work that makes you feel something, thus creating a connection between the viewer and the art work.

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?

Anything by Louis De Villiers. His work is amazing!

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

I’ve always enjoyed art as a subject during my primary and early high school years. I started taking art more seriously in my grade 11 year. It was then that I knew I wanted to be an artist. I went on to study Illustration and Motion Design in university as I felt that this was a “safer” route to go, because being an artist would be risky. But here I am today steadily trying to build a career as an artist.

What are some of the key themes you explore in your work?

The relationships between the psychological, emotional and spiritual. How these three aspects influence each other and result in one’s ultimate state. 

What should people know about your art that they can’t tell from looking at it?

That it’s an outpouring of my heart and soul. I feel that the heaviness or lightness of my emotional and mental states expressed through my work can somehow be felt, thus forging a connection with the viewer. 
Tell us more about your creative process.
I like to tidy up my space and lay out all of my materials. When working digitally I make sure that my desk is in order and my drawing tablet and laptop are plugged in or fully charged. In terms of  actually creating the work, It’s all very intuitive.  I generally don’t plan out my pieces - I just start and hope for the best. When working both digitally and traditionally  I mess around with the composition until it feels right. It’s all predominantly driven by my mental space and emotions at the time. I pour out the fullness of what I’m thinking and feeling into the artwork that I'm making.

What drives you as an artist?

Creation. The beauty of the natural created world around us is so inspiring. I’m also driven by the creations of other artists through various avenues such as fine art, design and music. I’m driven and fascinated by how a piece of art or music  can make someone feel something. To me, that’s amazing! 

Do you have a favourite or most meaningful work?
A piece called “Past Forward - Virgin in the Rose Garden” by South African artist, Karin Miller. It’s just so incredibly beautiful!

What is your greatest achievement as an artist to date?
Winning the State of The Art Gallery Award, and having the opportunity to have my work shown at No End Contemporary Art Space’s FNB Joburg Art Fair booth.

What are your aspirations for the future?

I really hope to sometime in the near future do an artist’s residency overseas.I definitely hope to do more art fairs and to be a part of more exhibitions. I’d like my art to find its way into  homes and spaces where it will be displayed so that  people to connect more and more with it. I’d like for people to see a piece of themselves and their stories in the images that I create.