Zandile Tshabalala


Who is Zandile?

Zandile Tshabalala is a visual artist born and raised in Soweto. Currently, she is completing her BA(FINA) at the University of the Witwatersrand. The mediums she uses most are acrylic, oil paint and at times infuses the two with some sculptural elements and puts it all on canvas. She tends to revisit and make reference to the works of painters who came before her, and interpret or rework the works in the way she sees fit for her narrative and relatable to her practice. To name a few artists, the works of Kerry James Marshall, Njideka Akunyili-Crosby, Cinga Samson, Nandipha Mntambo and Henri Rousseau have stood out the most in influencing the artist’s way of thinking and working through her paintings.

Zandile flips the coin on the ideological representation of the black woman in the art history – from crass caricature to being in total control of her sexuality and gaze. Painting her subjects unapologetically black with intensely dark skin tones as an appeal of radical self-realisation.

The consistency of the paint in her works is intensely saturated – incarnating the very opulence of black women, black culture, black experience and black history; decolonising a discourse further by employing her own agency as a black woman in control of her own individual and the collective representation of black women. Actively demanding her place.



2020 Two-man show at Mmarthouse, Johannesburg
Zandile has collaborated with emerging and established names such as Blvck Block gallery, Sixteen gallery in Soweto and IQhawe magazine amongst many others.