The 2020 Standard Bank Young Artist award winner for visual art, Blessing Ngobeni, presents his much anticipated body of work, Chaotic Pleasure.
Comprising new paintings and collages on canvas, Chaotic Pleasure serves as both an observation and a form of confronting complex issues of power and abuse.
The paradoxical title of Ngobeni’s exhibition represents a quintessential feature of the artist’s work – his ability to harness and manipulate seemingly incongruous words in order to intrigue, challenge, and inspire the viewer.
“The works in this exhibition are made in response to everything we are seeing in Africa today,” explained Ngobeni.
“The chaotic pleasure I talk about is the excitement and hope for a better future, and it’s the protests and the riots that take place when those elected into power fail to deliver. It’s the result of labouring and producing African resources, but never being able to enjoy those resources ourselves. It’s the beauty of the African landscape and the lingering effects of colonisation. When the coloniser walked into Africa, he did not think about the people living here, he got too excited and simply took over without concern for those people. It’s the pleasure of that excitement and the subsequent chaos it caused, and still causes today.”
Standard Bank gallery manager Dr Same Mdluli explained in her introductory text for Ngobeni’s exhibition that the body of work serves as an important marker for the artist’s practice.
“Chaotic Pleasure is a body of work that solidly positions Ngobeni within his own praxis of working with multiple and complex ideas, said Dr Mdluli.
“It is a bold testament and confident display of a sense of ownership of his artistic language. As the winner of the Standard Bank Young Artist award for visual art for the year 2020, this work will remain a marker of an important moment in his career and artistic practice.”
Visit the exhibition here.
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