South African artist, Vus Ngxande’s work goes on show from 16 April to 20 April 2016 as part of the Undiscovered Canvas at the 13th edition of the Festival International du Film Pan Africain in France.
Ngxande will be among three young South African artists exhibiting as part of the ‘Undiscovered Canvas’. This year’s theme is a reflection on blackness and identity offering a perspective of the lingering effects of apartheid in post-democracy South Africa. ‘The body of work I’m exhibiting is a series of large format photographs called I am Patriarch inspired by Spanish artist Francisco Goya’s Saturn Devouring His Son. My intention was to explore what happens to a child raised by a broken father”, explains Ngxande. Apartheid contributed to the breakdown of the nuclear family in many black communities.
The bull is used as a symbol of manhood which intuits elements of strength, virility, authority and sternnesss, hence the use of the cow head in the work. The cow head isn’t covered with hide to juxtapose these seemingly positive qualities with the ‘other side’ – this is the duality of misguided patriarchy. The work on show touches on these aspects in different ways. Indoda Yindoda (A man is a man) is a portrait of a stereotype gone wrong of what happens when manhood seeks its own edification regardless of the resulting consequences. The work isn’t all doom and gloom though, Ngxande offers a glimpse into the future in Those who are still to come.
‘My work allows me to reflect on experiences within black society such as how patriarchy is flawed; definitions of masculinity; African spirituality, the role and treatment of femininity amongst other’, says Ngxande. His work is usually a mix of photography and digital illustration translated into strong and iconic visuals.
The Undiscovered Canvas is a platform created by Nomaza Nongqunga, a South African living in France. Through it, Nongqunga promotes South African artists in Europe. Ngxande’s work is on exhibit alongside fellow South Africans, Reatile Moalusi and Mathias Chirombo at Novotel Cannes Montfleury, 27 Avenue Beausejour, Cannes.
I share a lot of my creations online. Nomaza showed interest in what she’d seen and as they say, the rest is history and we will see what the future holds
Vus Ngxande is a digital artist, graphic, writer, graphic designer and a father based in Johannesburg. He studied Graphic Design at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology with a focus on graphic design, photography and illustration. He’s been doing fine art photography and digital illustration since 2008.
Ngxande was the winner of the South African design reality show, The Cut. Subsequently, he began his graphic design career working for Woolworth SA. This position kickstarted his foray into the world of retail.
This is his first exhibition.