Xolile Mtakatya

XOLILE MTAKATYA (1968 -) A former youth activist and political detainee, Xolile Mtakatya began drawing on the prison cell walls to relieve his frustration. After his release, he was encouraged to study art. Mtakatya's work is characterised by vibrant colour combinations, well-developed draftsmanship, a strong sense of line and engaging characters caught in typical local adventures. His work is concerned with everyday life in all its variety; his artwork a means to record and process his personal experiences, and to engage with issues pertaining to history, poetry, African legends, rituals and the politics of gender. Mtakatya’s use of bright colours and naive perspective belie the melancholic and even disturbing messages often revealed on closer inspection. This Capetonian started off attending drawing lessons at the Community Arts Project and this led to him completing a Diploma at the Foundation School of Art in 1993. Mtakatya has attended numerous workshops and residencies, involved as both participating artist and teacher. Mtakatya has participated in over thirty group exhibitions and several solo exhibitions. Mtakatya has a successful studio workshop in Khayelitsha (Cape Town).

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