Dion Cupido was born in 1973 in Mitchell’s Plain, South Africa. Cupido is primarily a self-taught artist, who discovered his talent for art while helping a friend with a school project in 1990. He initially began to explore his creativity through graffiti on walls in the Cape Flats. However, he quickly progressed from there to having his first exhibition of paintings in 1998. In 2003, he joined the Arts & Media Access Centre’s (AMAC) professional development program, where he won the Truworths AMAC Academy of the Visual Arts award. Cupido has held several solo exhibitions through Worldart in Cape Town.
Street art is still heavily influential in his work; however, it is mixed with planned studio-produced portraits that he calls ‘African-pop portraiture’. Cupido came to realise that his work can trigger thoughts and memories, which he now explores with his combination of abstraction and portraiture. There is a sense of palimpsest in his works, the vibrant expressionism of his faces juxtaposed with the distinctly urban edge of the overlaid graffiti script.