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Artist Qhama Maswana talks about inspiration behind his hyper-real art

by: Buntu Mgwelo - 21 April 2017

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Eastern Cape artist, Qhama Maswana has an incident that left him with two broken legs to thank for his career.

The artist says that when he was growing up in King Williams Town, he broke his legs when a ton of bricks fell on him while he was playing outside. He had to spend three months recovering from the incident, under the care of his mother, who also bought him colouring books so he can pass the time.

Qhama says he has been in love with art and playing around with colours ever since.

The inspiration behind his latest work

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The artist, who is now 25 and based in Joburg, says that most of his work is inspired by his upbringing especially the area where he was raised as well as the people. His drawings feature, for example, two old people, wearing blankets, their age clearly visible by their white hair and wrinkled faces.

In another painting, he uses dark colours, to paint the faces of two young men, one looking away from the viewer while another, with sweat dripping down his face and a tear dropping from his eyes looks on with piercing eyes.

“With this series I would like to encourage other artists to stick to their cultural values and to reveal them to the world before they are lost. My massage is simply to remind people of their forgotten dreams, hopes and aspirations,” he says.

Qhama, who completed his diploma in fine arts at the University Fort Hare in 2015, says he hopes the move to Joburg will expose his work to more people so that he can make a decent living off his art.

More work is yet to be done

Pictures: Supplied

His work, which can also be found at his former varsity, is due to be part of a group exhibition taking place next week. Keep up with him via his Instagram page here