Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Michael Selekane

Pretoria-based artist Michael Selekane was born at Uitvlag village in Mpumalanga in 1986, to Catherine Selekane, a single mother and domestic worker. At birth, Michael was abandoned by his biological father who was made known to him only recently. His sudden introduction to his biological father was traumatic - often reflected in his work. Shortly after his birth, Michael was left in the care of his grandmother (“Gogo”) and uncles when his mother left Mpumalanga to seek domestic employment opportunities in Pretoria.
 His art reflects a visual take of people's everyday struggles as seen through his eyes. His works were criticised by buyers for contrasting each other. "I am inspired by social issues, especially politics. I also look at my personal life and find it fascinating to paint about it," Selekane said.
One of his works is titled Julius Malema Train. In defining the art-work, he says: "As you can see the train is overflowing with people. Everyone is fighting to get on the train. Malema is always using propaganda to get more people to support him. Youths who do not understand politics join the ANC youth league because they know they will get top positions." He says he used the train as a metaphor because it is unreliable. "A train is never on time, and it cannot be trusted. Just like politicians. They speak about this today and tomorrow they are singing a different tune."
Selekane works in oil and enhances it with bright, natural colours. In an attempt to preserve the natural environment, he also creates works of art by mixing recyclable newspapers. His influences includes post-modernist and impressionists such as Gerard Sekoto, Dumile Feni and Michael Mmutle.

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