Zwelethu Mthethwa

South African art legend Zwelethu Mthethwa invites Dazed Digital into his Cape Town studio to talk about his life's work

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In the June issue of Dazed & Confused we've got a 32 page section on new South African youth culture, focusing on the generation who have grown up without the shackles of apartheid. However, it's impossible to talk about the new South Africa without looking to its past, and if anyone represents the will and determination to produce art in the face of oppression it is artist Zwelethu Mthethwa, who contributes this issue's "Last Shot".

After receiving his BFA from Cape Town's Michaelis School of Fine Art while it was still a whites-only University, Zwelthu made a conscious decision to shoot and paint South African black rural and township society in vibrant colour. His Interiors series (1995-2005) broke down boundaries by depicting the disenfranchised victims of apartheid in their colourful homes, a dignified approach that humanised his sitters and brought the true nature of their living conditions to a global audience. His first self-titled monograph has just been published by Aperture.




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