My name Monalisa Molefe I am a South African entrepreneur, artrepreneur and all-round creative business mind. I own Artform Factory, a Johannesburg based fine art conservation framing business. Contemporary African art is on the rise and Africa is home to 6 dynamic emerging art capitals that both local & international connoisseurs, purveyors and enthusiasts are interested in being further exposed to the continent’s talent.
Every week, I will be taking you through a selection of artists from African decent – living both on the continent and across the diaspora, already discovered or emerging in the art world globally. Are you ready for today’s first feature?
Angela Chilufya is a Zambian born Gen Z. She is an emerging visual artist in the Art world, and definitely one to keep your eye on right now. She has had her interest in art since she was a child. Unlike traditionalist African parents that expected their children to focus on highly academic careers, Angela’s mother played a big role in nurturing the creative talent she saw in her child. With the backing and support of her family it became a no brainer for Angela to academically pursue art, she studied fine art, graphic design, philosophy and film studies in Cirencester college after which she did a foundation degree in art, design and illustration pathway. Later she went on to study illustration at bachelor level at Falmouth University, accompanied with masters in creative enterprise at the University of Reading, England.
She currently lives in England but still faces challenges as an African artist living in Diaspora, because not many places in England are willing to give up and coming African artists the interest and attention that they deserve despite African contemporary art being on the rise globally. In western countries, ‘it seems one would first have to work their way to a certain level in their career and in the art world before there is a demand for collectors to want to acquire the artists work.’ Says Angela
Angela’s body of work predominantly focuses on black people, intimacy, identity, connections and relationships they have with each other, she references the close relationship she has with her sister which has been her greatest influence and inspiration as she grew up navigating life. She uses various mediums but currently we see a lot of acrylic paint as well as pencil and charcoal in her popular body of work. In addition to human relation she also focuses on portraiture which is inspired by a popular South African artist Nelson Makamo, we see the inspiration and artistic technique resembling Nelson in some of her charcoal works.
“White figures are a staple in classic art featured in major museums. They are the ‘masters’ of the masterpieces. Why should that continue?
– Harmonia Rosales
She speaks of how black people have had lack of representation in her world and so her urge to focus on black people and the characteristics such as skin tone and hair texture. As she furthered her studies in art she learnt of an artist by the name of Harmonia Rosales who said “White figures are a staple in classic art featured in major museums. They are the ‘masters’ of the masterpieces. Why should that continue?” Not even popular museums around the world had balanced representation if at all. This made it important for her to focus her artistry on black people.
Angela’s work comprises of deep rich and beautiful hues of royal blues and into navy dark night sky hues. She gained inspiration to paint in blue from a quote from moonlight a coming of age movie about a young black man embarking on a journey to manhood who is guided by the kindness, support and love of the community that helps raise him. The quote reads, “In moonlight, Black boys look blue”.
In her portraits we see hues of blue that mimic being surrounded or drowning in darkness
which represents black culture dying or being washed away due to the way people of colour are expected to conduct themselves in western society.