Zwelethu Mthethwa

South African, born 1960

125 followers
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Zwelethu Mthethwa

South African, born 1960

125
Followers

Harnessing beauty as a strategy to draw attention to his socially engaged work, Zwelethu Mthethwa produces large-scale, gorgeous photographs of the marginalized citizens of his native South Africa. His color-saturated portraits capture subjects like migrant workers and Christian missionaries, whose serious faces seem both revealing and impenetrable. The history and politics of post-apartheid South Africa underpin Mthethwa’s work, which he makes in the service of his subjects and with an aim to foster a more nuanced understanding of his country. As he describes: “I made it my conviction to go out there through my art and try to paint a different picture of the other. […] So I’ve taken it upon me to change or provoke and ask questions that will tell a different story about Africa. About me, because essentially this is about me.”

Selected career achievements
user
Solo show at a major institution
The Studio Museum in Harlem
group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 5 more
Instituion
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
frieze, and 1 more
fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale International Exhibition, and 7 more
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$50 - $50,000+
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