Multi-faceted artist Dada Khanyisa's work acts as a social mirror
Dada Khanyisa’s final year art project 'Father Figure', is an autobiographical installation that refers to her own life, how in a space where there is no father, the television takes on the role of guiding young minds.
The artist’s aesthetic works so well with her artwork that it’s not difficult to imagine her being a part of it. She’s the personification of her message.
The combination of fine art and fashion is nothing new, yet this Joburg raised and Cape Town-based artist’s work seems to take a fresh approach.
Khanyisa aka The Mighty Whale is thrusting herself forward in the creative industry.
A recent graduate of the UCT Michaelis School of Fine Art, the multi-faceted artist has already shown her sculptural paintings on big stages such as the FNB Art Fair in 2017 with the Stevenson Gallery.
Her creative outputs vary from fine art to reconstructed custom sneakers, to tattoos, to murals (check her mural just completed at Constitutional Hill).
My focus on the human condition stems from the various spaces I have called home; the different spaces create a multi-faceted diagram of my reality. I understand that I have to greet strangers in rural KZN, keep my phone guarded while in central Jozi and ask a white mate to call the agent if I am looking for accommodation in Cape Town.Dada Khanyisa, artist
Most of the work I produce is about the black experience. The weight of the content is based on the currency of memories. I enjoy focusing on what people neglect or take for granted - their daily tasks and what was part of their growing experience.Dada Khanyisa, artist
The work acts as a social mirror with some distortions which are fuelled by the imagination and a particular agenda.Dada Khanyisa, artist
Her recent venture is a custom sneaker project titled ‘Conversations’ - an extension of Khanyisa’s vast project of reconstructing sneakers and customising them.
This project centres on reconstructed Converse sneakers and plays on the title to imply it being open-ended and not partial to a single narrative.
A video made in collaboration with Chris Kets, Chawezi, and Stiff Pap has been made live to celebrate the art form of custom sneakers, and highlighting Cape Town’s rich house party scene, which serves as an inspiration for some of Khanyisa’s paintings.
Check out the video below: