SAME MDLULI | Manager, Standard Bank Gallery
Artwork: Peter Clarke, Rest, 1944
I’ve been reading the book Listening to Distant Thunder: The Art of Peter Clarke by Philippa Hobbs and Elizabeth Rankin.
Clarke’s painting oeuvre is not only impressive but also extensive. Whilst there are many works I have been drawn to, one stood out and resonated with me most. It is an early gouache painting from 1944, painted when he was still a schoolboy.
The work is quite simply titled Rest with the word inscribed at the bottom of the painting by the young Clarke. It depicts ships on the dock and has a delightful naivety to it. It reminded me of how children mostly make pictures from imagination and how having an imagination is important in a time of uncertainty.
I thought back to my own childhood drawings and remembered the joy of getting lost in my imagination as young girl.
DAVID BRODIE | Partner, Stevenson Gallery
Artworks: Hylton Nel’s ceramics: Dog on stump with twin birds, 2019
Nel continues to make the most wonderful, whimsical, affecting and all-around gorgeous ceramics in SA. He recently launched his website where one can spend much time delighting in his world of grumpy cats and dealing with love and loss in time of plague. Highly recommended for anyone who needs to remember that this too shall pass, and that sometimes we should laugh and sometimes we should cry.
ELANA BRUNDYN | CEO, Norval Foundation
Artwork: Georgina Gratrix, Pink Pop (Still Life with Hylton Vase and cheese curls), 2019
I love the way Georgina Gratrix uses thick, highly textured layers of paint and strong colours to create her work. Her palette of brilliant colours fills me with joy. Pink Pop (Still Life with Hylton Vase and cheese curls) depicts an added love of mine — the Hylton Nel vase with cat. The painting is quintessential Georgina Gratrix: humorous, playful, endearing, but with an element of critique.
STANLEY GABRIEL | Head, Momentum iX
Artwork: Gerry Nnubia, Million Man March, 2014
Million Man March by Nigerian artist Gerry Nnubia in his signature acrylic flow style is a scene I hope to see in South Africa soon: unified transformation. This painting gives me joy because it represents the power of the people to hold authority to account. It reminds me to normalise speaking to power. It hangs behind my new office at. Of the painting, the artist said: “Igwe bu ike is an Igbo statement which literally means: ‘multitude is power’.”
Humanity has always rallied in strong solidarity in huge numbers to muster ‘people power’, especially politically, aiming to achieve a desired end. Solidarity marches remain the most powerful means of ridding nations of ‘monster leaders’, and other unacceptable circumstances in human societies and will never cease to be.”
MARY-ANNE MUSEKIWA | CFO, Coronation Fund Managers
Artwork: Ruramai Musekiwa, Ditoro, 2019
This is a piece that I commissioned for my office from my sister, the talented Ruramai Musekiwa. My brief was for a bright, empowering piece of art. When I look at this piece it evokes a feeling of quiet contemplation, strength, of joyous dreams held in the mind of this woman. It’s a vibrant mosaic of a black woman in a world that is often unkind. However, this piece personally brings hope, light, and a sense of calm in the middle of the storm.
THAPELO “TIPLO’ TSOTETSI | Tattoo artist, co-owner of Black and White Tattoo Studios
Artwork: Private commission, 2020
“During lockdown, I got to reconnect with painting. I hadn’t seriously painted in years, and I love painting portraits. I got a lot of commissions during the lockdown period, and this customer’s portrait — an anniversary-surprise gift from her husband — was one of them. I love the colours, the detail on her top, the smile on her face — it’s contagious. Working on that painting lifted my mood. The joy came from seeing the final painting reflect not only the source material, but to see it turn into what I had envisioned when it was just a clean canvas.”
LANGA KHANYILE | CEO, Sun Media
Artwork: Ayanda Mabulu, King Poetic, 2018
A piece of art that makes me happy is King Poetic by Ayanda Mabulu. The piece is a large, mixed-media ode to jazz legend Miles Davis (complete with an actual trumpet). The artwork is bright, brash, and unaffected. It lords over me in my home office and reminds me to keep pressing against the boundaries of the mundane and the confines of the acceptable.
MONDLI KUNENE | artist
Artwork: Mondliart, What’s a Mother’s Touch to a Child, 2019
I was raised by a single parent and I am now able to create art to raise awareness about socially contentious issues in Africa and how they resonate with the rest of the world. None of this would be possible without the woman who conceived me. I believe that women are architects of society. If women are protected and empowered, a healthy society will emerge and thrive. A mother’s touch to a child is important. The physical, emotional, or spiritual touch of a mother contributes to the wellbeing of a child: how they grow up and become self-aware, ultimately contributing to society positively.
• From the September issue of Wanted 2020.