THABISO PHEPENG

 

B. 1981  Bloemfontein, South Africa
Lives and works in Zurich, Switzerland

 

Biography


Thabiso Phepeng (b.1981) grew up in Bloemfontein, South Africa, at the age of 11 he started getting absorbed by street art and hiphop which remains an inspiration in his work until today. In 1998, Phepeng moved to Johannesburg to study fine art at the University of Johannesburg, half into the program he realized that a formal art education was not for him so he quit. He was amongst the first black students who were allowed to study at a University level, however the racial tensions continued throughout public institutions in South Africa which fueled his sense and admiration for street art as a form of rebellion. However, due to the sanctions that were long imposed on South Africa due to appartheid, getting the sprays for street art was difficutl and very expensive which pushed Thabiso’s considering canvas as a format.
            His work is a combination of abstract expressionism and graffiti on paper or canvas. The mix of influences has refined a style reflected in his work through the intense focus on process as opposed to working towards a pre-planned result. He loosely describes as “Mark Making” or “Paint for the sake of paint and colour for the sake of colour.” His work is a combination of influences from his feeling of nothing and his surroundings from living space, relationships and family.

Thabiso Phepeng likes to be called Mzansi which means South African in Xhosa.

* Mzansi /əmˈzʌnsɪ/ noun – South African

 

Exhibitions

 

 

2017

 

The Bite, Zürich 

 

Kafi Schoffel, Zürich 

 

 

2016

 

Fritz86, Zürich

 

Kafi Schoffel, Zürich 

 

2011

 

Wessel Snyman Creative, Cape Town  

 

2010

 

Performance art “Colour for the sake of Colour” House 22, Pretoria

 

2009

 

Café del Khuze, Pretoria

 

2002

 

De Beers, City Hall, Pretoria

 

Gerald Reed Sekoto Gallery, Johannesburg 1990

 

 

Awards

 

Macufe Art Competition, Bloemfontein 2006

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