Samantha Impumelelo Maseko-Umafel' empini

Umafel' empini

Ferial Mohamed-Birth of Venus

Birth of Venus

Samantha Impumelelo Maseko

Native Daughter I

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PRESENTED BY : Samantha Impumelelo Maseko


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More Information
Frame None
Medium Oil paint, Wool, Gold dust & fabric on Brown Paper
Location Johannesburg, south Africa
Height 98.00 cm
Width 62.00 cm
Artist Samantha Impumelelo Maseko
Year 2022

“At the end of the day, black bodies are political…” – Amy Sherald Samantha Maseko work tackles the themes of black femininity. Her works embody the African American parfait painter’s words , as she unearths and challenges aspects of blackness clothed in the female form - whether by interrogating hair, colourism or the sexualisation of the black body.. There is a single constant present throughout her many themes and mediums, and that is a need to present blackness as aesthetically pleasing. This desire to bind representations of the black figure is no doubt a result of her love for fashion. Samantha gathers inspiration from two contrasting historical events such as the tignon laws and the 21st century trend leading black women to replace natural hair with synthetic hair, bleaching the skintone and modifying the body to fit into certain beauty standards. . However her work does not dwell on the traumatic historical predicaments hence it celebrates the versatility of African (Afro) hair. She molds her subjects’ hair into a popular Nigerian hairstyle known as threading using a heat glue gun, wool and gold dust to create a crown-like structure to emphasize a popular term “Crowning Glory” used by the black society referencing Wooly textured hair.

Maseko’s works serves as a cathartic dialogue between little black girls and black women who have felt dismissed or degraded for wearing it natural.  

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