Wandile Mashaba

Artist Statement / Synopsis of work

What does it mean to be a 23 year old living in 2016?

Cyberspace has infiltrated a majority of all forms of living, and as a 23 year old it is no surprise that I spend a lot of time in this realm. This means I’m susceptible to hundreds of ideas, cultures and opinions in a very compressed time - too short to analyse them conclusively. (On a good day, with a standard computer, you can download fifteen high quality movies in less than 20 minutes, but don’t do that because it’s illegal).

This artwork is a quadriptych which can be viewed in two ways – individual attention given to each piece; or as a connected whole. The artwork represents the complexity of daily life, represented in the detail and the saturation of elements.

We live in a highly globalised world.  We are bombarded with information from different sources. Information is merging and fields of knowledge which were once considered separate are now converging. For example in a commercial or mass market, architecture can now be closely associated with fashion; or computer programming merging with visual art and taxis merging with visual art.

The artwork can be seen as a youthful evaluation of high paced culture and fluctuating trends, as well as of heavy principles and values from the past. Each system aims to find or create its own identity within the larger system, but all identity is formed relative to another and the systems are forced to interact and form a convergence of ideas. The only way these systems can move is if they circle around each other, beginning, evolving, ending and beginning again like the very nature of life itself.

This can be compared to the taxi industry. Each morning millions of people from different backgrounds and destinations are all connected through one practice - catching a taxi to work. Once work is done they catch a taxi back home. The process is then repeated the next day.

Wandile Mashaba – Finalist Biography

Mashaba is a self taught, figurative and conceptual artist based in Pretoria­. He works with various mediums which including charcoal, graphite, video and sculpture.

His works are usually very detailed in order to reflect the complexity of daily life. This is expressed in any medium he chooses to work on. The artist also intentionally blurs the lines between the abstract and the figurative which he feels creates an artistic language in which the viewer is encouraged to interpret the image by finding a relation between the abstract and the figurative.

Mashaba is currently working as a graphic designer, illustrator and a branding and marketing consultant.