Title: King Kong
Medium: Six colour lithograph
Size: 20.5" x 15.5"
Edition size: 22
THE BEAT OF DRUM
A suite of prints based on Drum, the famous magazine that started in 1951 and which captured the zeitgeist of the 1950s and 1960s. Drum was instrumental in pioneering investigative journalism in apartheid South Africa as well as celebrating life in Black communities. Underlying the images is the narrative of identity and citizenship articulated through dynamic ideas on belonging, equality and universality. The editions consist of 22 prints each, 2016 being the 22nd year of democracy in South Africa. With these prints, Nhlengethwa hopes to educate and remind the youth of where they come from.
"King Kong" was a landmark South African jazz-influenced musical, billed at the time as an "all African jazz opera". It opened in Johannesburg in 1959 and was an immediate success and it "swept South Africa like a storm", touring the country for two years and playing to record-breaking multi-racial audiences, before being booked for a London production in 1961, by which time it had been seen by some 200,000 South Africans.
Sam Nhlengethwa / King Kong
Sam Nhlengethwa is one of South Africa's foremost artists. Born in 1955, he studied at Rorke's Drift and the Johannesburg Art Foundation. He was awarded the Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year award in 1994, the year South Africa held its first democratic elections and freedom was won for all its people.
He has successfully exhibited all over the world from Senegal to New York and Cologne. His work is largely figurative and he explores themes that are close to his heart such as the plight of mineworkers, jazz and the physical space of contemporary Africa.
In his prints and paintings, Sam Nhlengethwa uses overlays of techniques such as collage painting, drawing and photography. His fine sense of colour and form lend an abstract quality to his work.
He has been included in many contemporary South African art publications and his work can be found in leading South African and International collections.