I looked at how African identity was stereotypically portrayed in the west and I noticed a black and white visual language that implanted a concrete image of Africa in western imagination. I wanted to rewrite this visual culture and present a counter narrative that portrayed africans as dignified. Seeing that Photography was instrumental in affirming visual codes through which the west saw Africa., I use photography as a tool for resistance.
How would you describe your own style?
Historical meets contemporary.
Which 5 things would you take with you to a desert island?
Laptop, Camera, Tripod, Makeshift backdrop, Red bull
With which 4 people (dead or alive) would you like to spend a creative weekend?
Santu Mofokeng, Zanele Muholi, Brooke Shaden, Seydou Keita
In your opinion, which trends are currently dominating the art world?
I would say conceptually driven art. There has also been a shift towards Afrocentrism amongst African artists. Making work that highlights the black body as an archive. Self portraiture is also a trend thats gaining momentum due to its accessible nature
Who or what has inspired you most in the last 12 months?
I have been inspired by the dualities of the world. Fantasy versus reality, endings versus beginnings, creativity versus consumerism. Reflecting on these polarities constantly forces me to push the boundaries in my image making.
Which person outside art do you admire? And for what?
I admire Madame CJ Walker because of her willingness to stamp her products with her own image – which was a bold move when white beauty standards ruled the day.
What would you regret at the end of your life not having done?
Not having had the opportunity to shoot on a 4 by 5 large format camera.
What is the best work of art ever?
Mfana (2014) Zanele Muholi
Who is the best artist ever?
My message to the world
Don’t try to fit into a box and do what everyone else is doing. Find your own unique style develop it, master it and never stop creating. You need to make work that matters and you have to be able to look at what’s come before you in history, where do you fit in with that evolution, what is the intelligence behind the project and what is it saying. Create something that you feel like people need. I think that as artists we have to figure out what you are trying to say as an artist and how you go about doing it. It’s a challenge and it’s not something that you are going to discover in a couple of minutes or in a weekend but it’s something that you are constantly pursuing.