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02 Jan 2022
Dada Khanyisa
Artwork 2023
Artwork: Dada Khanyisa, 02 Jan 2022 (2023). Oil on canvas, artificial grass, cloth and wood. 108 x 73.5 x 19 cm. Private collection.
Artist Dada Khanyisa Title 02 Jan 2022 Date 2023 Materials Oil on canvas, artificial grass, cloth and wood Dimensions 108 x 73.5 x 19 cm Credit Private collection

“The work I produce is about the black experience,” Dada Khanyisa says. “The weight of the content is based on the currency of memories. I enjoy focusing on what people neglect or take for granted.” The visual stories Khanyisa creates – in murals, sculpture and painting – more often depict scenes of intimacy and levity borrowed from everyday life. Following a self-styled attitude of nakanjani (by whatever means necessary), Khanyisa works across such various mediums as wood, rubber, acrylic paint and found objects to compose their high-finish, graphic images. The artist’s distinct figuration echoes popular South African comic strips in style and form – indeed, many of Khanyisa’s sculpted paintings appear as comic-book panels populated by their many characters. In this way, the artist suggests, they champion an accessible visual language, a street-wise aesthetic that riffs off black South African pop culture and the collective voyeurism social media inspires.