Talented visual artist mounts long-delayed raid on commercial galleries

Patience Bambalele

Patience Bambalele

Alfred Maphumulo, a talented visual artist, has a bright future.

Currently exhibiting at the Johannesburg Art Gallery with Russia Maina, their exhibition is titled Creative Explosion and is on until January.

Though Maphumulo is regarded as a developing artist, he has been long in the game.

He says: "I have been in the art industry for a long time. I know I have not been in major exhibitions and maybe that is why people still regard me as new."

Born in Rockville, Soweto, Maphumulo believes his exhibition will make him recognisable.

"I know I still have a long way to go," he says, "but people will recognise my talent because I want to go far."

He specialises in oil on canvas and pastel on canvas and likes to do portraits of people who have made a difference in the country.

"I like to paint various leaders," he says. "I also like to look at the people who are role models in this country.

"I want to preserve culture using art. When people leave the rural areas to stay in the cities they usually forget their cultures and their customs."

He worries that commercial galleries neglect developing artists.

"You need to be established to exhibit in commercial galleries," he says. "They do not give young artists a chance."

Maphumulo's art career started at a young age. After completing his matric he went to Pelmama College in Dobsonville, where he studied for a diploma in fine arts.

He went on to do a programme in Art Teacher Training and Arts and Culture management at Wits University.

He has exhibited his work at the Binamaculo Cultural Festival in Pretoria, the Johannesburg Bienalle, Future Prospects in Newtown and at the Thompson Gallery at the Carlton Centre