New Solo Show of the Interdisciplinary Artist Oupa Sibeko at Nel

New Solo Show of the Interdisciplinary Artist Oupa Sibeko at Nel

Oupa Sibeko, an interdisciplinary artist from South Africa, returns to the Cape Town-based gallery Nel with a new solo exhibition. While the artist is primarily known for his evocative, emotional, and interactive performance art, he is not a stranger to cross-genre experimentation. Sibeko’s latest body of work consists of mixed-media paintings, drawings, and collages that tell a story of vulnerability and interconnectedness. His solo art show, “MORWALO,” is on view at Nel until May 16, 2024.

New Solo Show of the Interdisciplinary Artist Oupa Sibeko at Nel

Oupa Sibeko’s artistic practice is deeply rooted in ritual and play. His background as a performance artist allows him to find unexpected ways in which the body can produce meaning. Politics of the body, particularly that of a Black man, are central to his work.

Sibeko’s previous shows at Nel were works of performance art. His first exhibition at the gallery, titled “Black is Blue,” was an interactive and immersive performance that lasted days. During the show, the artist was lying on two chairs with fish hooks attached to his back and blue light enveloping him, in the room filled with sea sand and the audience.

New Solo Show of the Interdisciplinary Artist Oupa Sibeko at NelIn “MORWALO,” the artist’s body is not so much an art object but a tool that allows creative energy to flow freely and express itself however it likes. Sibeko says that the artwork his body produces is never planned in advance. Instead, he lets his body take the lead in the creative process. As the artist himself puts it, “The body knows things that the mind cannot express.”

Artworks that became part of “MORWALO” are mixed-media pieces created with materials that almost all people in the industrialized world have used at least once. Bubble wrap and mosquito nets, objects that became so common we barely think of them as objects anymore, gain new meanings in Sibeko’s art.

Oupa Sibeko is an interdisciplinary artist who never stops learning and passing down his own knowledge. He recently returned from Akademie Schloss Solitude, a fellowship in Stuttgart, Germany, where he spent months perfecting his craft and exploring the possibilities of various genres and mediums. Sibeko is also a student of one of the most well-known contemporary South African performance artists, Robin Orlin. When Oupa Sibeko is not busy creating powerful works of art, he teaches and volunteers for educational institutions in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Oupa Sibeko is an outstanding, multi-faceted artist whose work is worth seeing and experiencing in person at least once. Check out his new exhibition, “MORWALO,” while it is on view at Nel. It runs through May 16, 2024.

Photo courtesy of Nel