Art heals. art saves and art teaches; at least that is what I believe. I have been following a few artists whose work takes me to different worlds that I have imagined and the few that I have seen. I love how relatable all the painting are to me.
Michael W. Soi (1972) is a Kenyan artist who has been working in Nairobi since 1995 after completion of his fine art and art history studies. His work provides a photographic diary of Nairobi and other places. Michael Soi’s artwork satirically reflects some really interesting social, political and economical trends.
Artists in Africa have been documenting their work in the best way possible. I love what their art does to me when I look at it. They produce art that is easy to relate to us African children and they capture it in the best possible. I have seen so much beauty in the work of these African artists, I have seen a beauty that I would have otherwise missed should I have been watching their subjects with my naked eye. One artist whose painting speak to my heart is Qhamanande Maswana a 24 year old Fine Art graduate from the Eastern Cape whose passion for art began when he was still in high school.
Culture is very much a driving force behind Qhamanande’s paintings, one cannot help but engage with the subjects in his paintings. My favourite painting is of a woman who looks absolutely amazing with flowers as her crown and her eyes are so intense and I feel like I can see what she is seeing even though she is facing the side and her cheek bones are beautiful bandla! Qhama says that he only paints when he is inspired and that he works hard at being inspired. I like that he just doesn’t sit and say today I am not inspired so I will not be painting. You have to get out and seek inspiration even from the smallest of things. Qhama boasts about being different from other artists because his work has a cultural feel to it which is inspired by his young days in the rural areas and he enjoys painting females because he grew up among females and he feels that the body gestures and expressions of females makes it easy to tell how they are feeling at that particular time.
The aim for my art is to engage the viewer with the roots and beauty of black people’s culture in South Africa as it has a modern and spiritual approach which is meant to take the viewer through the daily life of black Africans.I paint only when I’m inspired and I work hard at being inspired every day, if something touched my soul enough for me to paint it, the chances are there is someone out there who may feel the same because I think as an artist it is my job to inspire people What I enjoy doing the most is female portraits it might be because I grew up being surrounded by female siblings. Females, with their gentle, caring features filled with love. Their body gestures and facial expression makes it easy to tell what one was feeling or going through at that particular moment, and those expressions I capture to tell a story through my artworks.- Qhamanande Maswana
Qhamanande Maswana’s biggest highlight was when he was commissioned to do a portrait of Doctor Mangosuthu Buthelezi for the Fort Hare University Centenary celebrations and when he had a solo exhibition at the Arts on the Lain in Berea East London. As a consumer of art I tend to like art pieces that speak to me and pieces that I can relate to in one form and another. Qhama works hard in developing paintings that speak to both him and the consumer of his art and he loves to show the beauty that is in Africa. Part of his painting process goes into researching a specific theme that he wants to create as he does not want to just capture an image but he also wants to give the image life. Tools are also important for the painting process, pen and ink are great for strong detailed lines while oil paints are used to capture colour and form; and fast drying acrylic paints are for projects that need to be completed quickly.” Africa inspires most of my art, the beautiful people, their full lip and thick hair, their amazing skin tone. I am inspired by the strength of the people and I see royalty in all of them, my artwork speaks, not only for me but for people who were long silenced”, says Qhama.
You can order Qhamanande’s work from Qhama Maswana Art