Muofhe Manavhela

South Africa

Muofhe Manavhela, 2021
Acrylic on linen

Image courtesy African Artists Foundation, Nigeria
“Manavhela chronicles the lives of young, black women living in the concrete jungle of Johannesburg using herself as a starting point. Inspired by youth culture, particularly black women rappers, her figures wield long acrylic nails with geometric patterns and colourful wigs as they move from the domestic sphere to the heartbeat of the city. Subtle interventions, such as Twitter memes in the background of Fixed, challenge the ease with which these visual diary entries are received and alert the viewer to (a) quiet rebellion. The cycle of beauty management that young African women upkeep and the beauty technicians' refined craft is memorialised in these works. Manavhela looks towards the nail colour wheels at beauty salons and the stylisation of hair posters to capture a modern woman that reclaims the beautification process as the ultimate form of self-care,” as per the curatorial statement for the exhibition, Unusual Suspects, curated by Jana Terblanche and Princess Ayoola. The exhibition was staged in Nigeria by the African Artists Foundation.