Loyiso Mkize is one of South Africa’s most well known graphic novel and comic book illustrators, being one of the foremost contributors to the Sunday Times supplement SupaStrikers but turns to painting for creative expression and as an avenue for his personal political and social commentary. The paintings often depict expressive faces, focusing his work in portraiture because of his fascination with skin, texture and the emotion that is conveyed through facial features – notions of the soul, the spirit and ultimately to illustrate his understandings of the true African experience in the contemporary art world. Mkize’s use of highly stylized and technically brilliant brushwork creates realistic imagery that leans toward the surreal with his decorative framing and imaginative illustration, adding multiple layers to each portrait with character references and the impression of self-awareness in each of his works.
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