• Blessing Ngobeni is recognized as one of the most thought-provoking artists in South Africa at the moment [VOA/D. Taylor]
  • "Economical kitchen" is Ngobeni’s way of satirizing the political elite’s lust for wealth (Photo courtesy of B. Ngobeni)
  • In "Red dot," Ngobeni paints Nelson Mandela as never before (Photo: B. Ngobeni)
  • "City in blues" is one of Ngobeni’s paintings showing his attraction to urban Johannesburg (Photo: B. Ngobeni)
  • "Jozi siren" is another of Ngobeni’s ‘city paintings’ (photo by B. Ngobeni)
  • "Slow vengeance" celebrates the artist’s triumphs over adversity (photo by B. Ngobeni)
  • This so called democracy, by Blessing Ngobeni (Photo: B. Ngobeni)
  • "Fallen tyranny" is another of Ngobeni’s political works (Photo: B. Ngobeni)
  • Blessing Ngobeni, pictured in his studio on the outskirts of central Johannesburg [Photo: Darren Taylor]

Traumatic Past Fuels Work of South African Artist Blessing Ngobeni

Darren Taylor

Published September 13, 2013

An artist in South Africa is transcending his traumatic past to create some of the country’s most talked-about paintings. Critics are comparing Blessing Ngobeni’s work to that of world famous Spanish artist, Joan Miro. Like Miro’s, Ngobeni’s works are intensely surrealistic. But the South African’s paintings are often more overtly political than the Spaniard’s ever were…and just as controversial.

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