COLBERT MASHILE

BIOGRAPHY

chow for thought

(b. 1972 Bushbuckridge, South Africa)

 

 

WORK

 

'I come from a place that is shrouded by powerful cultural norms and customs.'

 

In previous work, Colbert Mashile explored the psychological impact of traditional circumcision and initiation rituals on initiates. As Mashile’s work had developed, he has established a style, technique and iconography that are uniquely his own. Using acrylic water paints and charcoal on thick watercolour paper, he has become known for his earthy colours, precise draftsmanship, and witty and idiosyncratic compositions that combine animal characters and human figures – often in apparently equal-status exchanges. These are also combined with a range of props that often seem unrelated to the scenario depicted, creating a sense of dialogue at the heart of each work. Growing up in the rural areas around Bushbuckridge, Mashile spent his childhood deeply embedded in folk tales and mythology, interacting with animals (he and his friends, for instance, herded goats) and the full range of humanity. Several animals – like goats and baboons – recur throughout his work, and each of these animals has acquired a particular character and symbolic resonance. There are animals that are eaten (goats being the most common) and animals that are never eaten (reptiles). There are animals that are closer to the human world (baboons) and animals that are closer to the spirit world (hyenas). Often Mashille will insert props that have a personal autobiographical significance for him (a box of matches) or his original community (the miner’s hat, for him, represents the challenges of manhood).

 

Although his artistic vision is highly individual, Mashile’s art is full of commentary on social and political issues – between the rural and urban, Western and African, physical and spiritual, beautiful and ‘ugly’. He has already established himself as South Africa’s most unique and exciting contemporary artists.   

 

 

CV:

 

SELECTED EDUCATION

 

2001              

Master of Arts in Heritage Studies, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

 

1996-2000    

Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

 

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

 

2018     

As We Are, Everard Read CIRCA Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

 

2017

Truth or Dare, Everard Read Cape Town

 

2016              

Man’s Duality (Unearthed) CIRCA, Johannesburg, South Africa

 

2015              

Beast of Burden NIROX Projects, Johannesburg, South Africa

S'Ka Motho (Just Like Man) SMAC Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

 

2013              

Messages from our Ancestors Art Eye Gallery, Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa

 

2006              

Mmawaka Montedi AVA, Cape Town, South Africa

 

2004              

Tsa Bagale ,Gallery On The Square, Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa

 

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

 

2016

Title to be confirmed, CIRCA group exhibition, London, UK

  

2015              

FNB Jo-burg Art Fair, Everard Read Gallery Booth, Johannesburg, South Africa

 

2006              

Les arts de la Coexistence? Alliance Francaise, Paris, France

Les arts de la Coexistence? Musee des Arts Derniers, Paris, France

New Painting, KZNSA Gallery, Durban, South Africa

New Painting, Unisa Art Gallery, Pretoria, South Africa

DAK' ART, Dakar, Senegal

New Painting, Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

 

2005

Brett Kebble Awards Exhibition

ABSA L'Atelier Competition Exhibition, Absa Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa Johannesburg Sasol New Signatures Competition Exhibition, Pretoria Art Museum, Pretoria, South Africa

Les arts de la Coexistence? Migrations Culturelles, Bordeaux , France

Les arts de la Coexistence? Médiathèque, Biarritz, France

Florence Biennale, Florence, Italy

 

2004

ABSA L'Atelier Competition Exhibition, ABSA Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

Brett Kebble Awards Exhibition  

A Decade of Democracy: Witnessing South Africa: 2004 -2005, Boston, Smithsonian, Gibbs Museum, Detroit USA

The ID of South African Artists, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

A Decade of Democracy: South African Art 1994 -2004 from the Permanent Collection, South African National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

Making Waves (A selection of works from the SABC art collection) Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

Negotiated Identities - Black Bodies , Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

 

2003

Circumcised/Circumscribed, Axis Gallery, New York, USA

New Works, Art Space, Johannesburg, South Africa

Show Me Home, Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

A New Collection, Gallery On The Square, Sandton, South Africa

 

2002

Insider/Outsider, Art on Paper Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

Klein Karoo National Arts Festival, Oudshoorn, South Africa

 

2001              

Museum Africa Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

The Art Space Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

 

2000

ABSA Gallery, Johannesburg UNISA Art Gallery, Pretoria, South Africa

Malangatana in South Africa, Sandton Civic Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

Bill Ainslie Art Gallery, South Africa

Klein Karoo National Arts Festival, Oudshoorn, South Africa

 

1998, 1999

Martienssen, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

 

1994

JHB Art Foundation, Johannesburg, South Africa

 

AWARDS:

 

2005

Brett Kebble's Awards Exhibition 

ABSA L'Atelier Competition Exhibition, Absa Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

Johannesburg Sasol New Signatures Competition Exhibition, Pretoria Art Museum, Pretoria, South Africa

Les arts de la Coexistence? Migrations Culturelles, Bordeaux , France

Les arts de la Coexistence? Médiathèque, Biarritz, France

Florence Biennale, Florence, Italy

 

2004

ABSA L'Atelier Competition Exhibition, ABSA Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

Brett Kebble Awards Exhibition

A Decade of Democracy: Witnessing South Africa: 2004 -2005, Boston, Smithsonian, Gibbs Museum, Detroit USA

The ID of South African Artists, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

A Decade of Democracy: South African Art 1994 -2004 from the Permanent Collection, South African National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

Making Waves (A selection of works from the SABC art collection) Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

Negotiated Identities - Black Bodies , Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

 

2003

Circumcised/Circumscribed, Axis Gallery, New York, USA

New Works, Art Space, Johannesburg, South Africa

Show Me Home, Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

A New Collection, Gallery On The Square, Sandton, South Africa

 

2002

Insider/Outsider, Art on Paper Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

Klein Karoo National Arts Festival, Oudshoorn, South Africa

 

2001              

Museum Africa Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

The Art Space Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

Klein Karoo National Arts Festival, Oudshoorn, South Africa

 

2000              

ABSA l'Atelier Merit Prize

ABSA Gallery, Johannesburg UNISA Art Gallery, Pretoria, South Africa

Malangatana in South Africa, Sandton Civic Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

Bill Ainslie Art Gallery, South Africa       

ABSA l'Atelier Merit Prize

 

1999              

Certificate of First Class: Painting IV, Johannesburg Art Foundation

 

1998, 1999

Martienssen, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

 

1998                          

Certificate of Merit: Outstanding Results in Drawing & Design III

 

1994

JHB Art Foundation, Johannesburg, South Africa

 

1992-1994    

Certificate in Art Foundation Course 

 

1989              

Tladishi High School Matric

 

SELECTED PUBLIC AND PRIVATE COLLECTIONS

 

3M

African Life BHP Billiton (Gencor)

Daniel Erasmus Attorneys

Durban Art Gallery

De Beers

Oppenheimer & Sons

Johannesburg Art Gallery

IBM

MTN Corporation

NEDCORBank

SASOL

Limited

South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC)

Stanlib

The Mandela Foundation

The South African National Gallery University of the Witwatersrand