In 2015 Simphiwe Ndzube won the prestigious Michaelis Prize at the Michaelis School of Fine Art for his sculptures composed of found materials. Like his mentor, sculptor Jane Alexander, Ndzube is occupied with the human figure. His debut solo exhibition in 2016 included assemblage and acrylic paintings portraying costumed figures based on his sculptures. Ndzube later relocated to Los Angeles where, in 2017, he held a solo show at Nicodim Gallery. The exhibition included acrylic paintings in the style of this lot. The portly figure in these works is known as Bhabharosi – the name is a portmanteau word combining ‘barbarous’ and ‘rose’. This dandyish figure ‘embodies elements of beauty and hardship’ for Ndzube, and despite being ‘rejected, disjointed, disfigured and discarded after being used for his labour’ finds pleasure in sartorial extravagance. Ndzube points to Panstula and Swenka culture as real-world correlatives, and says his works map a ‘surreal journey of recovery’ for his characters.1
Simphiwe Ndzube. (2017) Nicodim Gallery, Los Angeles, Bhabharosi, 9 September to 14 October 2017, Artist’s Statement.
Donated by the artist.
The proceeds from the sale of this lot will benefit the Greatmore Studios Trust.