Banele Khoza’s paintings stand on the threshold between reduction and romanticism. Employing bold, geometric parts to constitute the figure, the portraits often possess a very formal quality, reminding of the late paintings of Paul Cézanne. By times, the artist leaves the work ‚unfinished‘, combining drawing and acrylic paint, or leaving the subject in front of a white background.
On the other hand, the paintings are marked by their expressive brushstroke and the vivid colours. Both generating a strong dynamic and vitality, they remove all possible rigidity produced by the formal frame. Moreover, the bright and pastel colours create a romantic and dreamlike quality running as a theme through the works, regardless of their actual content, The titles often serve as a comment or hint to the situation portrayed, ironic and frank, yet utterly personal. Thereby, the portraits seem to catch essence of the situation and the sitter himself (yes, mostly „him“).
In its combination of reduction, romance, and irony, Banele Khoza’s work addresses questions of identity, masculinity and of a young generation of creatives living and working in South Africa. Experimental and venturous, these artists (re-)shape the terms and conditions of a public sense of society and community.
“I appreciate the freedom I get from living in South Africa, tackling gender norms and also the idea of painting. There is a rich culture and appreciation of the Arts in this country and it inspires me further. I would have been in a box if I was based in Swaziland - however livingin South Africa has allowed me to create my own identity that knows of no boundaries”.
Banele Khoza was in born in 1994 in Hlatikulu, Swaziland. In 2008, he moved to South Africa and schooled there, until he enrolled at the London International School of Fashion 2011,studying Fashion Design for one year. Khoza returned in 2012 and studied Fine Arts at Tshwane University of Technology. He opened up his own curatorial space BKhz inJohannesburgin 2018 where he is working and setting up curatorial projects.