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Simphiwe Ndzube: A Different World

If it's not already, Simphiwe Ndzube is a name you should be familiar with

By Matthew McClure
Ⓒ Supplied
Ⓒ Supplied

This talented Cape Town based artist has exhibited in both solo and group shows from New York to Mexico City, Los Angeles to Cape Town, Bucharest to Shanghai. His work is included in the collections of Zeitz MOCAA, the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Lyon in France and the Rubell Family collection in Miami.

Listing his accolades isn’t enough though, because what’s most captivating about Simphiwe (and the reason why he has such a cult following) is his ability to capture hearts and imaginations through the cosmologies he creates through sculpture and paint. Simphiwe’s work acts as a vehicle for rewriting his own complex histories and the environments that played a formative role in his life through the revisioning of people, places and spaces. Occasionally, this methodology veers off into the realm of the unreal and surreal. The artist takes on a godlike status as strangely dreamlike figures and creatures are painted and sculpted into an otherworldly existence that is dominated by Simphiwe’s set of rules. In these worlds, that which in reality cannot exist together shares a cosmology that adheres to no known logic. These places are at once strange yet oddly familiar and comforting.

Simphiwe’s most recent exhibition at Stevenson Gallery, Masemola Road, takes a deeply personal look at his childhood and the role that women played in raising him in the absence of a father figure. His star is on the rise.

This article first appeared in the 2022 annual special edition of YourLuxury Africa.

Matthew McClure

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