Born in 1993, Zenande Mtati is a self-taught interdisciplinary artist who specialises in drawing, painting, photography and digital collage. Raised in Gompo township, East London, Eastern Cape, now based in Johannesburg, his work reflects his world as a young black South African. Mtati's art consists of social commentary, iconology, identity and culture. As a film alumni from CityVarsity, Cape Town, he has also worked on several projects in film and photography, including the Mercedes-Benz Bokeh Film Festival, Adidas Area 3 (commercial), and Nandos (commercial), to name a few. His experience in film influences his approach to photography. “My images are influenced by film. I see them as moving pictures. Growing up I was inspired by directors, such as Spike Lee, Mbongeni Ngema, John Singleton, and Martin Scorsese. I love how they are authentic and honest about their life stories. I also use my life as a reference for my art.” As an artist, he cites South African modernists like Sam Nhlengethwa, Dumile Feni, and other contemporaries like Bongiwe Phakathi, Thembinkosi Hlatshwayo and Callan Grecia as his biggest artistic inspirations. He admires artists who are not afraid to create their own visual language and push boundaries. Zenande has been part of numerous exhibitions locally and internationally.
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