South African visual artist Gerald Tabata

Gerald Tabata

Cape Town | 7 artworks for sale

  • Taxi Rank - Painting by Gerald Tabata Taxi Rank
    Painting / 90 x 64 cm
    R18 000
  • Commuting People - Painting by Gerald Tabata Commuting People
    Painting / 92 x 68 cm
    R18 000
  • Figure #1 - Painting by Gerald Tabata Figure #1
    Painting / 18 x 18 cm
    R1 950
  • Figure #3 - Painting by Gerald Tabata Figure #3
    Painting / 18 x 18 cm
    R1 950
  • Figure #4 - Painting by Gerald Tabata Figure #4
    Painting / 18 x 18 cm
    R1 950
  • Figure #2 - Painting by Gerald Tabata Figure #2
    Painting / 18 x 18 cm
    R1 950
  • Figure #5 - Painting by Gerald Tabata Figure #5
    Painting / 18 x 18 cm
    R1 950
Working in a refined, painterly technique with a thoughtful use of colour, Tabata is concerned primarily with evoking the mood and atmosphere of the township scenes synonymous to African culture. Critics have commented that his work has the touch of Rembrandt; with seductive impasto paint he sculpts figures using colour sparingly.
“I grew up in Khayelitsha, Cape Town and from a young age, I was trained in a variety of crafts such as oil painting, sculpturing, and photography. I work at my studio in the township and have exhibited in many group shows, both locally and abroad.

My work is mostly about the human figure. I reflect on the individual’s beauty, optimism and pride in the context of social challenges such as injustice and inequality in South Africa. Strong textures add dimension and depth;, my figures are rather carved onto the canvas than painted.” - Gerald Tabata

Gerald Tabata is a self-taught artist, who was born in 1975 and spent his childhood in Khayelitsha, CapeTown.  Enamored of art from young age and Gerald has trained in a variety of disciplines including sculpture, photography and painting, which he took to immediately.

Tabata participated in the Community arts project (cap) between 1988 and 1990 where he received  mentorship and training and became an artist in residence at Greatmore Studios in 2004, where he participated in number of group exhibitions and solos. In 2005 he attended the Thupelo International Programme.

Tabata’s history places him firmly within the framework of his artworks speaking to place, time and social politics. Whether waiting for a taxi, walking down the street, or waiting for the world to turn, Tabata captures these moments like a visual story-teller or documenter.  The subjects that people his canvases, although framed by circumstances of poverty, carry on about their business of life; while some of the figures have become reduced to an anonymous symbol, they are not a caricature. The subjects do not engage with the viewer, in many instances, the subject has their back turned, or is walking away, out of the picture frame, excluding the viewer from the narrative of their life.  Tabata states, “As artists, we stand for the people, we are the voice of the masses, we can not keep quiet or pretend things are ok whilst they are not. We  should  expose  poverty  and  make  it  our  responsibility  to  let  the  world  know  our  backyard problems.”

Selected Exhibitions

2020
Solo show, Lerotholi gallery in Langa, Cape Town

2016
Two-man show - Finland

2012
Solo exhibitrion at Casa Labia, Muizenberg

2011
Two-man show 'Ubuntu Bethu' at Casa Labia, Muizenberg

2010
Group exhibition 'iDiski' - JArt Gallery for the World Cup

2006
Group exhibition 'Farrago' - AVA Gallery, Cape Town
Group exhibition - Thupelo International, Cape Town

2004
Group show Celebrating 10 Years of Democracy - Everard Read Gallery, Cape Town



 

 

 

Working in a refined, painterly technique with a thoughtful use of colour, Tabata is concerned primarily with evoking the mood and atmosphere of the township scenes synonymous to African culture. Critics have commented that his work has the touch of Rembrandt; with seductive impasto paint he sculpts figures using colour sparingly. Gerald has found himself a studio in Observatory, Cape Town where he lives out his childhood dream of being an artist.