Khaya Witbooi (b. 1977) grew up in Uitenhage in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. After matriculating in 1995 he did a college course in draughtsmanship and started working as an illustrator for an architectural firm while doing freelance work for The Argus newspaper in Cape Town (court sketches, cartoons etc.). He also specialised in the painting of portraits. In June 2010 he was selected to join the Good Hope Artist’s Studio programme where he was given a studio and the opportunity to paint full-time. In December 2011 he was awarded an artist’s residency at the more prestigious Greatmore Studios in Woodstock, Cape Town. Witbooi uses a combination of stencilling and oil painting to express his observations, usually of socio-political nature. The result is a surreal and gritty feel layered with pop art iconography and distinctly African subject matter. Topics like democracy in post-apartheid South Africa, human behaviour in this context and the effects of globalisation are dealt with regularly. It provides valuable insight into a world the viewer seldom had the opportunity to experience firsthand. ARTIST STATEMENT “I’ve taken it upon myself to make a statement of a concerned citizen. I’m not expecting people from around the world to do it before I do. If there’s any person to make the first comment, it is the person
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