Acrylic and collage on paper
Blessing Ngobeni was born in a small rural town of Tzaneen in the Limpopo Province in 1985. He moved to Johannesburg at the age of 10, where he continues to live and work. Ngobeni’s distinctive visual sensibilities are immediately recognizable for their surreal, chaotic and heavily stylized figures and the artist’s incorporation of mixed media and found objects such as cardboard, and newspaper and magazine clippings. Recently, his artistic trajectory has expanded to include sculpture, video animations, installation and performance.
A strong current of social commentary runs throughout Ngobeni’s work. In paintings such as Greedy Mood, Ngobeni lambasts political elites who abuse power for their own selfish ends, and fail to address the harsh social injustices and inequality that the majority of people continue to experience in post-Apartheid South Africa. In particular, he seeks to critique the constant repetition of past mistakes, which continue to tear away from the possibilities of the future. Ngobeni’s nightmarish figure is adorned with both a crown and a red nose, his deformed feet only capable of moving backwards.