Neo Matloga is a South African contemporary artist, working with collage and mixed media. Through collage and charcoal on canvas, Matloga creates a bridge between the domestic life and the undeniable persistence of socio-economic, political and historical conditions of South Africa’s Apartheid regime. Often creating large multi-panel works, Matloga’s use of collage on canvas presents hybrid characters and domestic scenes that represent both the political past of his country as well as the collective present of his surroundings. By drawing with the usage of liquid charcoal, Matloga’s works depict black and white figures, offering familiar situations that can be referenced from and to the media, television, and/or books. However, it is through his use of magazine and image cut-outs to distort their bodies and contexts that the works become untraceable and timeless citizens of an unspecified timeline. While the scenes come from a personal narrative, it is through the distortion of his characters that he explores a collective existence in his native home of South Africa and what he refers to as the “racist gaze.”
The work of Neo Matloga was exhibited at S.M.A.K., Gent; Fries Museum, Leeuwarden; the South African Embassy, Washington DC, and the Thami Mnyele Foundation. His works are part of the permanent collection of the South African Embassy in Washington DC, KRC Collection, Fries Museum, S.M.A.K., and the Thami Mnyele Foundation.
Neo Matloga (b.1993) studied Visual Fine Arts at the University of Johannesburg, ZA, and has completed a residency at De Ateliers, Amsterdam, NL, with a focus on painting. In 2021 Matloga was awarded the ABN AMRO Art award, in 2018 the Koninklijke Prijs voor Vrije Schilderkunst. In 2019 he was nominated for De Volkskrant Beeldende Kunstprijs, and was among the artists shortlisted for the Taxi Art Award in 2015. Neo was an artist in residence at Foundation AVL Mundo, Rotterdam (2019); Thami Mnyele Foundation, Amsterdam (2018); Zeitz MOCAA, Segera, Laikipia, Kenya (2018) and The Bag Factory, Johannesburg (2015). Neo Matloga currently lives and works between Mamaila, ZA, and Amsterdam, NL.