Time & Location
09 Jun 2023, 10:00 – 24 Jun 2023, 14:00
Africa First x Gordon, HaPelech St 6, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel
About the Exhibition
Sunday by appointment
Self-taught South African artist Treasure Mlima (b. 1999) finds aesthetic inspiration from Pop Art and Surrealism, interpreted uniquely with themes based on African experiences and perceptions. His interest in working with visual conversations ranges between concepts of understanding mental health, African identity and addressing social ills. Technically his working process includes using found images, digitally manipulated into collages, carved into wood and eventually painted with oil based and acrylic inks. An appreciation for nostalgia is referenced with popular brands like Coca-Cola, stylistically he presents his exploration of mental health with imagery that is surrealistic, with figures sitting in positions as of having conversation, but all are headless. The is comprised of 2D prints, showcasing an array of imagery dealing with space and identity from an African perception.
The artist’s work is ethereal, putting situations in untypical spaces with a blank background, reflective of a journey, where one goes into the unknown looking for an answer, or in the case of the artist, looking for a new face which represents a new identity. He uses Pop Art to depict the familiar or stereotypes, and surrealism to find the peculiar.
“ I felt that the long delay of revisiting these concepts has led to displacements and abandonment that’s not inherent to the growth of the collective experience of my people. The notion of one maintains the existence of all. This is how we should approach this body of work. The voice of one echoing the voice of many” Mlima sees himself as a sample of a type of existence in the world, and that is of an African. As an artist he commits himself to that of being a cultural practitioner who has the duty of exposing what is hidden. Through his art, he both reveals the existing and suggesting a different reality using neutral symbolism, neither confrontational nor compromising.