3 Artists to watch during the Cape Town Art Fair 2022
The way in which art fairs are perceived in conversations that centralise the argument that the visual arts is not as important as other art forms is wide open for all sorts of arguments. One could argue that the views shared can be distorted for someone who has not been to any art fairs in Johannesburg, Cape Town or Miami. Luckily for many, who attend, the art fair in Cape Town are privileged to see the tone being set for what is to be expected from galleries, artists and curators, alike, in 2022. At the same time, we can also understand that as an artist creates in the midst of such an enormous puncture in our reality, the reigns of power, drastically change, bringing a new dawn of works.
Cinthia Sifa Mulenga
No one could have prepared us for the rise of Cinthia Sifa Mulenga. She has continued from strength to strength. Her mixed media works of sensual images of black women, moving forward through their lives, navigating ‘beauty’ and its contradictions has catapulted Mulenga as a maverick in her own right. Unlike most creatives, her social presence is consistently showcasing her ability to engage multiple audiences and remain relevant to communities of a broad spectrum.
Black women remain active in her art – making, bestowing dignity, respect and substance for many to witness at this year’s fair. A debut showing at this year’s fair, Mulenga presents 3 works, in collaboration with Botho Project Space as well as Latitudes Online. Botho Project Space was created by Nelson Makamo in 2019, to provide a natural transition for artists such as Mulenga, who choose to create on their own terms. Mulenga, a young force has been absolutely certain of her trajectory and talent through their mentoring.
The investment value of Mulenga’s work is increasing with each exhibition, project and her participation in international shows, which Latitudes Online has enabled for close to 2 years. Mulenga’s works encourage the viewer to see the parallels in which she draws from, pursuing a narrative,unique to her own heritage, background and experiences.
A masterful, magical combination of figurative and abstract painting imparted by Tauzeni cannot be missed in 2022. One is immediately captured by her use of colour surrounded by patterns of grand size. Not a single of Tauzeni’s pieces leaves you not desiring to surrender to a tone of a world with harmonious rapture.
The point of Tauzeni’s work is to denote much more than the technique, which may very well be an outstanding feature to also be one of the Cape Town Art Fair’s Tomorrow /Today Art Prize recipients, however it is also to marry enormous ideas of pleasure and freedom and also mourn many other parts of Zimbabwe’s unpredictable circumstances. A word that comes to mind while witnessing Tauzeni’s works is omniscient. Mavis Tauzeni is part of the artist roster for the Harare – based, First Floor Gallery.
It’s no surprise to see Zindela honouring narratives of safe spaces, friendships, kindred spirits and times that represent kin when moments require such bonds. Much of Lindela’s body of work is steeped in memory and archiving the messages from encounters he has had with his peers. A Sepedi reference to this kind of creation would be the word, “Thake”, denoting someone who can be or is your peer. Life takes shape and is real within the margins of conversations with those we choose to be family and that is something Zindela does so well in his work. The artist is at ease with the people he profiles, capturing each and every comment, without fail..
As a curator and an artist, Zindela references his friends to enter a space of unadulterated territory, taunting the viewer to interrogate the ways in which they measure the depth of each conversation they are able to have with their own “people’. How real are these conversations? What is the main purpose of the conversations? Do they ever become more than just conversations? And when can it be that these conversions become reality? In 2021, Zindela had his solo show at SMAC Gallery and continues to be part of the artist roster.