Blessing Ngobeni was born in 1985, in Tzaneen, Limpopo, South Africa. His work is primarily concerned with the inherent duality of the relationships city residents have with their environment. On the one hand the people living in the city hold an exterior identity characterised by music, sex, entertainment and fast lifestyles. But this exterior face masks extreme challenges in managing the basic elements of daily life. The pressures of crime, poverty, transport and employment compound the intensity of the surface level relationships between individuals in the city, generating much of the passion – in positive and negative senses.


Blessing’s work consists of a range of found objects and waste materials, including magazine cuttings and found cardboard canvasses. The rationale behind the use of these found materials is two-fold. Firstly, the materials themselves are a comment on the difficulty young artists experience trying to enter the formal world of art without the socio-economic momentum behind them that enables them to secure basic materials. Secondly, the materials are purposefully selected for the role they play in the artist’s life. The magazine cuttings, for example, are taken from art magazines and feature the work of artists that have played a conceptual and aesthetic role in the artist’s own development. These cuttings are layered into his art at various depths, with many of them unrecognisable to the naked eye.


Printmaking and Painting (Artist Proof Studios), 2007


Taxi Outreach Project, Group Show, David Krut, Johannesburg
Taxi Outreach Project, Group Show, Michaelis Central Library, Johannesburg
Taxi Outreach Project, Group Show, Diepkloof Library, Johannesburg

Untitled, Group Show, Museum Africa, Johannesburg

On This Earth, Solo Exhibition, Gallery MOMO, Johannesburg
I Made In Africa, Group Show, Africa Day, Sandton Gallery, Johannesburg
Exit Emergency, Reinhold Cassier Award, Bag Factory, Johannesburg

In His State Of Madness, solo exhibition, Gallery MOMO, Johannesburg

As If You Care, solo exhibition Gallery MOMO, Cape Town

The Song of Chicotte, CIRCA Gallery, Johannesburg

Masked Reality, CIRCA Gallery, Johannesburg


Reinhold Cassier Award, Bag factory, Johannesburg, 2012

Headlands Centre For Art, San Francisco, U.S.A, 2014

Cleveland Creative Fusion, OH, U.S.A, 2016


200 Young South Africans (Mail & Guardian)

Artwork, This Political Song, printed as cover for of “Rethinking the South African Crisis: Nationalism, Populism, Hegemony” by Gillian Hart (2013)


Reinhold Cassirer Award

1st Prize and Gold award winner at the Gala Ex-Offenders Awards


Text: EVERARD READ Gallery


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