These South African Digital Artists Will Blow Your Mind
Politically and emotionally fueled art is no novelty, but some digital artists are taking statement-art to the next level. From anti-colonial and post-apartheid criticism to exposing the harsh reality of our emotions and online lives, these digital geniuses are fearless in their redefinition of media art.
We’ve rounded up four dope Johannesburg-based digital artists, who’ve made names for themselves through their powerful, beautiful and sometimes trippy commentary of race, colonialism, the ~interweb~ and the self. Check ‘em below!
This French-born, Johannesburg-based Guyanese/Danish artist is nothing short of a genius. In fact, she isn’t just an artist, but also a self-described intersectional preacher, health practitioner, tech-politics researcher and Kemetic/Kundalini Yoga teacher. Often described as a cyber-warrior, Tabita’s digital dreamscapes are a both trippy and poignant attack on Western colonialism and white supremacy. Her work has been featured in a number galleries, most recently in the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg with her powerful “Sorry For Real” series.
A Johannesburg native, Carly’s work explores our relationship with our online platforms and our interactions with each other through these digital spaces. “We come from a generation who may be considered as digital natives, so much of who we are is rooted in the digital medium, online, on television etc. and filters through our lives and our own networks,” she says on her website. “In my own work, I love being able to capture that effect and interaction using the medium.”
Splitting his time between Johannesburg and Toronto, Brooklyn’s art unmasks raw emotions and exposes the realities that are anxiety and depression. His “iOS update my life” Tumblr project cleverly illustrates these emotions are interwoven into our digital worlds; through his fabricated iPhone screenshots, he strips away the fake and superficial nature of our smartphone lives to reveal the loneliness and anxiety beneath all of our screens.
This 22 year-old South African’s “Roygbiv” (which is the acronym for red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet) project is a sequence of colorful and satirical digital collages that challenge the post-apartheid ideal of the Rainbow Nation. “There is a collective realization that 1994 unfortunately sold us dreams. The myth of a Rainbow Nation has suffocated black people since its existence, and this multimedia series is an attempt at exposing that. Roygbiv brings to light an opposing narrative to the one that white supremacist heteronormative capitalist patriarchy has hidden away from black people – a narrative that reminds us that we are still beautiful,” Maramela told Between 10 and 5.
Images via Tabita Rezaire, Carly Whitaker, Brooklyn Pakathi, Tiger Maremela, Goodman Gallery, Between 10 and 5.
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