Art@Site Speelman Makose Mahlangu Riding the Bull Cape Town

Speelman Makose Mahlangu


Riding the Bull

Riding the Bull
Mahlangu developed a practice that, while drawing upon European modernism, is particularly connected in subject matter and approach to Africa. He is well known for richly coloured paintings and drawings, which draw upon an array of references, such as Ndebele patterning, Chokwe masks, Cubism and German Expressionism. Through this amalgamation of Western and African cultures, Mahlangu attempted to convey a sense of spirituality that defied convention and was open to the broader world. The figure in Riding the Bull I may be specifically referencing Murile, a figure in Chaga mythology, who ascended to the moon on a magic bull to acquire great wealth.
Speelman Mahlangu (1958 - 2004), was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Mahlangu was educated at the Katlehong Art Centre, where he concentrated on both sculpture and painting.
Mahlangu’s imagery is uniquely African and his works depict a dream world with its roots in Ndebele myths. During his life Maangu was interested in South Africa´s"homecoming" to the African continent, and one is drawn into his timeless realm of southern African icons of traditional life, depicted almost as hieroglyphics.
Speelman Mahlangu: My imagery draws on traditional practices inspired by my grandfather, who introduced me to the legends and symbolism of animals and ancestor sacrifice. My paintings incorporate symbols and patterns from Ndebele murals and Egyptian hieroglyphics. They often describe things that one cannot see but can only feel. My themes include an exploration and spiritual, mythical ideas of the world to come. The role of music in African life and traditional rituals, African pots, human figures, calabashes and drums emerge from semi abstract shapes. A dream dreaming us.
Speelman Mahlangu was born in Germiston, on the 1st of October 1958 and died suddenly in October 2004. After attending Masthediso Western Province School, he enrolled at Katlehong Art Centre to focus his efforts on sculpture and drawing. Along with his participation in a number of exhibitions through the Art Centre, Mahlangu has created an individual reputation for himself as a creator of uniquely African imagery. His work has long depicted this notion of nostalgia and homecoming, surrounded by a strong influence from the African continent, through South African icons and ancient symbolism, which are somewhat reminiscent of Egyptian hieroglyphics.
Drawing inspiration from the ancient mythology and folklore of the region’s various tribes; Mahlangu’s pieces capture the essence of the Southern African experience and aesthetics. His imagery does not represent of any particular period in time, but rather emphasizes the bond that exists between contemporary Africans and their ancestors. Akazvarirwa nekukurira kuMalahleni, akatanga chikoro paKhayalethu Intermediate School ndokupedza matric paKopanang Senior Secondary School.Akadzidza kugadzira mafirimu kuBig Fish School of Digital Filmmaking muJohannesburg neCape Town.
Listed below are major African artists who have impacted the world of sculpture... many are still practicing today having had long, celebrated and illustrious careers. Edoardo Villa, SA (1915-2011)
Ben Enwonwu, Nigeria, (1917 - 1994)
Stella Shawzin, SA (1920 - 2020)
Ibrahim El Salahi, Sudan b 1930
Sydney Kumalo, SA (1935 - 1988)
Francis Nnnggenda, Uganda, b 1936
Arthur Azvedo, Zimbabwe b 1935
Ousmane Sow, Senegal (1935 - 2016)
Percy Konqobe, SA b 1939
Sunday Jack Akpan, Nigeria b 1940
El Anatsui, Ghana b 1944
Elkana Ongesa, Kenya b 1944
Wilma Cruise, SA b 1945
Norman Catherine, SA b 1949
Anton Momberg, b 1951
Anton Smit, SA b 1954
William Kentridge, SA b 1955
Willie Bester, SA b 1956
Tapfuma Gutsa, Zimbabwe b 1956
Deborah Bell, SA b 1957
Sokhari Douglas Camp, Nigeria b 1958
Guy Pierre du Toit, Sa b 1958
Speelman Makose Mahlangu, SA (1958 - 2004)
Olu Amoda, Nigeria b 1959
Brett Murray, SA b 1961
Jems Koko Bi, Cote D'Ivoire b 1966
Adeola Balogun, Nigeria b 1966
Angus Taylor, SA b 1970
Marco Ciafenelli, SA b 1970
Wangechi Mutu, Kenya b 1972
Claudette Schreuders, SA b 1973
Sanell Aggenbach, SA b 1975
Peju Alatise, Nigeria b 1975
Michelle Mathison, SA/Zimbabwe b 1977
Niyi Olagunju, Nigeria b 1981
Dylan Lewis, SA b 1982
Mary Sibande, SA b 1982
Lionel Smit, SA b 1982
Nandipha Mntambo, Swaziland b 1982