Zanele Muholi

South African, b. 1972

12k followers

Zanele Muholi

Bio

South African, b. 1972

Followers
12k
Biography

A photographer and self-proclaimed visual activist, Zanele Muholi explores black lesbian and gay identities and politics in contemporary South Africa. For their series “Faces and Phases” (2006-11), Muholi photographed more than 200 portraits of South Africa’s lesbian community. “The portraits are at once a visual statement and an archive,” they have said, “marking, mapping, and preserving an often invisible community for posterity.” Muholi’s sensitive portraits challenge the stigma surrounding gays and lesbians in South Africa, debunk the common rhetoric that homosexuality is un-African, and address the preponderance of hate crimes against homosexuals in their native country. Among other subjects, they have captured the survivors of “corrective rape”. In April 2012, thieves broke into Muholi’s Cape Town apartment and stole over 20 hard drives holding years of photographic documentation, suggesting the continued controversy and sensitivity surrounding the issues that Muholi’s works confront.

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Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Established
Established representation
Represented by industry leading galleries.
User
Solo show at a major institution
Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, and 2 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), and 3 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
frieze, and 3 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale National Pavilion, and 6 more
Biography

A photographer and self-proclaimed visual activist, Zanele Muholi explores black lesbian and gay identities and politics in contemporary South Africa. For their series “Faces and Phases” (2006-11), Muholi photographed more than 200 portraits of South Africa’s lesbian community. “The portraits are at once a visual statement and an archive,” they have said, “marking, mapping, and preserving an often invisible community for posterity.” Muholi’s sensitive portraits challenge the stigma surrounding gays and lesbians in South Africa, debunk the common rhetoric that homosexuality is un-African, and address the preponderance of hate crimes against homosexuals in their native country. Among other subjects, they have captured the survivors of “corrective rape”. In April 2012, thieves broke into Muholi’s Cape Town apartment and stole over 20 hard drives holding years of photographic documentation, suggesting the continued controversy and sensitivity surrounding the issues that Muholi’s works confront.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Established
Established representation
Represented by industry leading galleries.
User
Solo show at a major institution
Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, and 2 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), and 3 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
frieze, and 3 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale National Pavilion, and 6 more
Articles Featuring Zanele Muholi
The Most Influential Artists of 2020
Dec 7th, 2020
The Most Influential Artists of 2020
10 In-Demand Works on Artsy This Week
Nov 23rd, 2020
10 In-Demand Works on Artsy This Week
Zanele Muholi’s Tate Exhibition Shows Us the Power of Photography in Activism
Nov 11th, 2020
Zanele Muholi’s Tate Exhibition Shows Us the Power of Photography in Activism
14 Artists on the Importance of Portraying Queer Love
Jun 3rd, 2020
14 Artists on the Importance of Portraying Queer Love
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