Title: Tribute to Jean-Michel Basquiat
Medium: Ten colour lithograph
Paper size: 22" x 30"
Image size: 19.5" x 27"
Edition size: 50
Sam Nhlengethwa is intrigued by people and their spaces "Throughout the years, all my pieces have dealt with the movement of people. I enjoy paying homage to people and places through my art". In the tributes prints, he pays homage to some of his visual art contemporaries and others who have paved the way for South African art. He salutes and honours Ephraim Ngatane, David Goldblatt, Henri Matisse, Romare Bearden, Jean Michel Basquiat, Cecil Skotnes, Helen Sebidi, Zwelethu Mthethwa, Deborah Bell, Dumile Feni, William Kentridge, Judith Mason, Marlene Dumas, Peter Clark, David Koloane, George Pemba, Dumisani Mabaso, Esta Mahlangu, Robert Hodgins and Gerard Sekoto.
Most of these artists are South African and all of them have secured their place on the local and international art scene. By recreating the works of his contemporaries and role models and then placing them within a represented or imagined gallery space Nhlengethwa provides a new context in which to experience the work of these celebrated artists. The artist's work has been paired up with contemporary interiors and furniture that emphasise Sam Nhlengethwa's understanding of the "mental space" of that particular artist, and are then pulled together using Nhlengethwa's own distinctive style.
Sam Nhlengethwa / Tribute to Jean-Michel Basquiat
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.