Art: Five Young South African Artists To Watch

Keep an eye out for these gifted newcomers on the visual arts scene. Even if you can't buy their works, you can still appreciate their talent.
While award-winning names such as Nandipha Mntambo, Nicholas Hlobo, Kemang Wa Lehulere and Mohau Modisakeng are synonymous with South African artists who have earned international acclaim, a new group of young artists is on the rise, stepping up to the plate as the ones to watch for the future of South African art.

Angelo Valerio

Angelo Valerio is a 22-year-old Cape Town-based performance artist, sound artist, music producer, and DJ. Using his performance persona Angel-Ho, Angelo addresses issues of classism, identity, sexuality, gender and more. Beyond South Africa he has performed as far afield as New York and Berlin. Angel-Ho uses sound as a medium and tool to demystify the concepts of the Rainbow Nation, equality, nationalism and identity. To sample Angel-Ho's sounds, visit his SoundCloud page:


FAKA is a Johannesburg-based multi-disciplinary art duo made up of two best friends – Thato Ramaisa (aka Fela Gucci) and Buyani Duma (aka Desire Marea). Their work includes photographic stills, video and performance art, and explores issue of gender and queer black identity in a South African context. Most recently they were part of the Stevenson Gallery's group exhibition titled SEX, which opened in April this year.

Buhlebezwe Siwani

In 2015 Buhlebezwe completed her Master's degree at UCT's Michaelis School of Fine Art, for which she was awarded the Katrine Harris Prize for an Outstanding Body of Work. Her work spans various platforms including performance art, installation, photography and video and has been exhibited at the Stevenson Gallery, Museum Africa in Jo'burg and APEX Art in New York. In May this year she exhibited in Berlin, and at the end of July she leaves for Switzerland where she will spend a couple of months in an artist residency. Buhlebezwe is also a sangoma, and this forms an important part of her artistic subject matter.

Unathi Mkonto 

Unathi studied architecture, and after working for an architect's firm he went on to train in fashion. While developing his Boys of South Africa series, a body of work made up of photography and line drawings, he has also been working as an assistant and costume designer at award-winning artist Athi-Patra Ruga's studio. He was recently signed up by the Smith Studio Gallery in Cape Town.
Image by Malibongwe TyiloImage by Malibongwe Tyilo

Laura Windvogel

Over the past two years artist Laura Windvogel (aka Lady Skollie) has grown to prominence in the local art industry thanks to her outspoken persona, cheeky watercolour paintings on the subject of sexuality, and her series of podcasts, that also deals with sexuality. Currently Jo'burg-based, her recent work has focused on activism in response to the prevalence of sexual assault in our society. This year she was also listed as one of the Mail & Guardian's 200 Young South Africans.

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