Mbongeni Richman Buthelezi has developed a unique technique of art making using discarded plastics. Harnessing the melting properties of these plastics he paints, in impasto, solid forms burnt with a heat gun onto a thick roofing plastic surface. These unique works are often larger than life, and the artist works in extreme detail in both realistic and abstract depictions. Born in KwaZulu-Natal and raised in Springs, Buthelezi has molded these worlds together and tries to make sense of his rural upbringing with his urban existence in his work.
His subject is almost biographical, which starts to emerge in the series Childhood where he explores, with figurative images, games in the township alongside stereotypical textbook images. It is in the black and white Jazzing it up and Winter in Kliptown series that one is able to sense this artist’s uncanny ability to use an unforgiving medium to capture an atmosphere, grain and the very subtle hues of his experiential grapplings.
The exhibition Imizwa Yami is an exhibition of key works from major series’ produced from 2007 to 2009. The artist feels that showing the collection in Durban is a symbolic returning to his place of birth.
The exhibition is brought to the KZNSA Gallery courtesy of Seippel Galleries Johanneburg (South Africa) and Koln (Germany).