BLESSING NGOBENI

Blessing-Ngobeni-Dump-Site-2015

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_Ngobeni_Race_Against_Time

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.

Untouchaable-policitian_2015_

EDUCATION:
Printmaking and Painting (Artist Proof Studios), 2007

EXHIBITIONS INCLUDE:

2006
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

2007
Untitled, Group Show, Museum Africa, Johannesburg

2012
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

2014
In His State Of Madness, solo exhibition, Gallery MOMO, Johannesburg

2015
As If You Care, solo exhibition Gallery MOMO, Cape Town

2016
The Song of Chicotte, CIRCA Gallery, Johannesburg

2017
Masked Reality, CIRCA Gallery, Johannesburg

RESIDENCIES

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

 

MEDIA NOMINATIONS
2013
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)

AWARDS:

2012
Reinhold Cassirer Award

2013
1st Prize and Gold award winner at the Gala Ex-Offenders Awards

 

Text: EVERARD READ Gallery

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