Artist Focus: Mashudu Nevhutalu

11/04/2024     General News


“We keep moving. From point A to B we shuffle in the hopes of making it to a desired finale, far from our beginnings. We suppress the involuntary flashbacks of our shared past to avoid being slowed down by a past we cannot change. We don’t mind forgetting because what we had is far from what we want. So what good is remembering what is fixed in stone while having access to the enigmatic fluidity of the now?[1]


Photograph of the artist


Mashudu Nevhutalu, born in Johannesburg in 1992, tries to work through questions of shared memories and histories. Influenced by the graffiti and street murals that he came across during his upbringing, he would go on to pursue a career in Fine Art, being selected for the prestigious Sasol New Signatures Competition in 2014, and taking part in group shows and competitions such as the SA Taxi Foundation Art Award in both 2016 and 2017.


In Photo Day at School, Lot 34 on Aspire Art’s current online Contemporary Art sale, the image is both specific but also perhaps, in its haziness, rekindles memories of dreaded school photography days. The young girl seems to hide behind the foliage, slightly peeking out to see if she has been spotted. This image, as with many of Nevhutalu’s works, evokes emotions through the combination of murky representations of old photographic material and colours reminiscent of the sepia-tones seen in old photographs. It is further interesting to note that the images are merely interpretations of the original found photos and thus layered with the artist’s own interpretation, and perhaps his own memories or experiences. Focusing on the small moments or objects that evoke memory, and can be shared amongst many people who might not seem to have a relation or connection with each other. In his work, the artist tries to bring us closer to understanding that memories and histories are not fixed, and not simply in the past, but are shaped and continue to shape our present lives.


Lot 34: Photo Day at School | R 60 000 - 80 000


Photo Day at School was painted in 2023, the same year that Nevhutalu had his second solo exhibition, Hayani, at the esteemed BHhz gallery in Johannesburg, founded by artist Banele Khoza. The exhibition took place from the 9th of December 2023 until the 23rd of January this year. The presented works looked at the concept of home not belonging to a certain place but being formed rather by families and communities that surround you. In that same year the artist would also join 125 artists from 33 African countries in an exhibition at Kunsthal KAdE in Amersfoort, the Netherlands. The exhibition, titled Africa Supernova (24 September 2023 and 7 January 2024), showcased the extraordinary artistic talent of painters within the continent by showcasing a selection of works that have been acquired by seasoned Dutch collectors Carla and Pieter Schulting (Schulting Art Collection).



[1] Hlalethwa, Z. (2019). ‘Mashudu Nevhutalu: Archives of Colour’, Culture Review. [online].

Available: (accessed: 11 April 2023).





Contemporary Art

4 - 16 April 2024


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