Seeking myself in other | Banele Khoza | AKAA Art Fair 2018

Wed, November 7, 2018 to Sun, November 11, 2018

SMITH is pleased to present a solo presentation of Banele Khoza’s work at the 2018 edition of Also Known As Africa Fair in Paris. This solo exhibition is titled Seeking myself in others and consists of 8 new acrylic on canvas works that will be presented in Booth A6 inside Le Carreau du Temple.

Khoza has had a hugely successful year with two solo gallery exhibitions, one with SMITH titled LOVE? and another at LKB/G Gallery in Hamburg titled To: The Unknown. He also had a solo museum show at the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art titled Banele Khoza LGBTQI+. This show explored new definitions of masculinity - a theme which he carries through to the new presentation at AKAA.

This year also saw Khoza complete a 3-month residency at La Cité internationale des Arts. His time in the city was a self-described “dream come true”, and saw him come back to South Africa with a renewed sense of purpose. Khoza says, “To live and work in Paris for the short period I was there made me realize all the work that I still had to do at home.”

Khoza describes the energy behind this body of work as “fragile”, and explains that Seeking myself in others “is trying to find happiness within other people and later realizing it a has always been within”. This body of work champions the power of the self.

On the subject of LGBTQI+ issues Khoza says, “I am fighting for humanity, we need to realize that we are all equal, before anything else. We are all deserving of this existence and space. We are worthy of belonging regardless of our gender, sexual identification, skin colour or identity.”

In his 2018 solo exhibition LOVE? at SMITH, Khoza explored the links between love and technology. This new body of work veers away from that, and is refocused towards physical human presence. Khoza enjoys the energy exchange that occurs from painting from live models. The choice to use live models developed from his insecurity in capturing human proportions - the importance of which was emphasized to him in university - but over time it has evolved to be his preference.

There is a sparkling, new colour palette at play in the works of Seeking myself in others. Vibrant oranges and azure blues complement each other in They think I’m sad, while pops of yellow and green bring a sense of optimism to The embrace. Of the colour choices Khoza says, “It is stemming from hope, love and happiness - all occurring within myself”. Although this body of work is full of hopefulness, Khoza acknowledges the melancholy present in his work. In this painted world, joy and sadness are not diametrically opposed, rather Khoza sees joy stemming from an exposure to sadness: “One would not know the existence of either, if neither did not exist. The work navigates all feelings repressed or on surface.”

Seeking myself in others is an examination of how we project ourselves onto others, and is ultimately a story of coming home to the self. Looking towards the future, Khoza says that in 2019 and beyond he will be “exploring the depths of Love in different mediums”.