Lazi Mathebula (b. 1989 – Johannesburg, SA) is an award-winning illustrator and independent designer who believes that real creativity involves transforming the ordinary and in a sense, turning realism on its head. He currently lives and works in Johannesburg.
Mathebula’s work reflects a recognisable fixation on fine detailing, the intricacies of the purely African stories and a tasteful use of luminous colour to create long-lasting visual impressions. His instantly recognizable textures and patterns are as distinctive as they are delicate.
Crafted from the artist’s early experiences making drawings, paintings and digital illustration, his current artistic practice occupies a space that is concurrently post-digital, post-street and post-apartheid. Reflecting an interest in the relationships between different sectors of South African society, the history of indigenous communities and the relationship between fashion and ritual. Mathebula’s practice investigates the people and the textures that seem to define the urban reality of Johannesburg. In this new body of work, sculptural forms take centre stage, with each character referencing a different narrative, unique in our diverse social landscape.
Selected Solo Exhibitions
2020 Shadows of My Freedom – Kalashnikovv Gallery, Johannesburg, SA
Selected Group Exhibitions & Projects
2016 FIERCE.NOW – Afrovibes Festival, Amsterdam, Netherlands
2014 Drawing the Line – Kalashnikovv Gallery, Johannesburg, SA
2014 RIOT – Kalashnikovv Gallery, Johannesburg, SA
2013 The Path Less Deconstructed – .M Contemporary, AUS
2013 Illustrators Show – Kalashnikovv Gallery, Johannesburg, SA
Investec Cape Town Art Fair, Cape Town, SA (2020)
Basha Uhuru Festival, Constitutional Hill, Johannesburg, SA (2013 – 2019)
Design Indaba Expo 2013: Emerging Creatives, Cape Town, SA (2013)
2020 Hlalethwa, Z. The Rebirth of Lazi Mathebula, Mail & Guardian (Feb 13, 2020)
2018 Jason, S. Introducing Lazi Mathebula – The artist behind Basha Uhuru’s kaleidoscopic creative, Basha Uhuru (Jun 18, 2018)
2017 Mbele, G. Lazi can fashion beautiful designs out of debris, Mail & Guardian (Apr 2, 2017)