Aviwe Plaatjie - New Now London Thursday, December 9, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Living and working in Cape Town, South African artist Aviwe Plaatjie captures the community around him through his distinctive approach to portraiture. The subjects of his paintings are friends, neighbours, and family members who are typically presented in moments of quiet introspection. Indod’ibamb’ongezantsi exemplifies Plaatjie’s ability to cultivate strong visual narratives through the psychological richness of his characters’ gestural expression. The luxurious cherry red shirt and vibrant aqua curtains frame the subject as he is lost in a reverie, transforming an ordinary moment drawn from daily life into a compelling vignette. Reflecting on his subject matter, Plaatjie explains, ‘[m]y inspiration comes from the world around me, I love absorbing my surroundings. I simply comment on life’.i Yet his distinctive approach to portraiture transcends the social realism prevalent in South African art of the twentieth century. He peppers the man’s skin with dots of white, yellow, blue, pink, and red, introducing an expressive register to his portrayal of everyday experience.

    Born in Cape Town in 1988, Plaatjie showed an aptitude for art from a young age. While largely self-taught, he attended classes at the Frank Joubert Art Centre as a child before undertaking a mentorship programme with Vuyile Voyiya in 2011 which introduced printmaking techniques to his artistic practice. In 2021, he had his debut solo exhibition at Ebony/Curated Cape Town. Titled Makwande, a Nguni word meaning ‘let there be growth’, the sell-out show has propelled the South African artist to critical attention with his work recently presented by the gallery at the London 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair in October 2021.

    i Aviwe Plaatjie, quoted in ‘Aviwe Plaatjie’, artsy, online

    • Provenance

      Ebony/Curated, Cape Town
      Acquired from the above by the present owner



signed and dated 'A. Plaatjie 2020' lower right; signed, titled and dated 'A. Plaatjie Indod’ibamb’ongezantsi 2020' on the reverse
oil on canvas
68 x 68 cm (26 3/4 x 26 3/4 in.)
Painted in 2020.

Full Cataloguing

£2,000 - 3,000 

Sold for £1,260

Contact Specialist

Simon Tovey
Specialist, Head of New Now Sale
+44 20 7318 4084

New Now

London Auction 9 December 2021