Giggs Kgole, Boshielo, Anaglyph, Oil, Acrylic fabric & mixed media on Canvas, 230cm x 150cm, 2020. Can be viewed with 3D glasses.
Narrative: Kgole creates a larger than life interactive masterpiece using his signature anaglyph technique to explore the never-ending beauty of Black resilience. A poetic piece that captures the true essence of black stories, through past and current day adversity. Kgole’s masterpiece pays tribute to #SayHerName, a social movement that seeks to raise awareness of the Black female form, that has been subject to victimisation by police brutality and anti- Black violence in the United States and around the world. The theme draws a similar thread, within the same masterpiece, where he ominously alludes to the current Gender Based Violence taking place in South Africa. Kgole, nicknamed the Mighty Ancestor of Limpopo, paints a powerful, breath-taking spiritual experience of why #BlackLivesMatter to him and why the world needs to stop killing Black Women.
Personal Story: When asked by my Gallerist, Khalil Akar and award winning filmmaker, Ava DuVernay to participate in the #SayMyName exhibition in London, the first thing that came to mind was, “these incredible people wouldn’t have known I existed if it wasn’t for the countless sacrifices my grandmother made for me.” Boshielo, is my grandmother’s surname, this amazing woman who is the muse of my masterpiece ‘Boshielo’, raised me along with my siblings and cousins in my village, Kutupu in Limpopo. This is the same village I discovered art in for the very first time when I went down to the river to collect water at 4 years old, I discovered clay and all the figures I could create from it. My grandmother saw that talent and she encouraged me to go play by the river and create, and to come back once I had made a clay masterpiece she could fire in our coal stove to harden into another ceramic piece she could add to her collection of my creations. She never allowed me or anyone let their dreams die. I dreamt for the first time in Boshielo’s arms as we slept on the kitchen floor during winters. She created a safe environment for me which allowed me to be creative, from there onwards I swore to protect her from a World that’s killing our mothers.
Giggs Kgole, God Ke Mama, Mixed Media (Oil & Charcoal, fabric collage on Black Linen), 140cm x 250cm, 2019.
Narrative: [God must be real, God is women, and God is everyone]
Personal Story: The moment I pinned up the canvas to create this work, everything in my life was going well. It was October 2018, I had just turned 21 years old and opened up my own gallery in South Africa making me the youngest gallery owner in the continent at the time. A week after this canvas was primed, I lost everything. Bad luck is an understatement, I felt like I was cursed. I was involved in two car accidents which were two weeks apart, after surviving those, my gallery along with works from the artist I was exhibiting, flooded. Forcing me to shift everything I could salvage to my personal studio.
A couple days later, my personal studio floods as well, destroying all my unseen works due to be exhibited. Only four pieces survived the second floods, of which one of them was the primed “God Ke Mama” floating blank and awaiting completion. After settling all the damage bills for my gallery, studio and cars, I went bankrupt again and decided to quit everything and go back to my village in rural Limpopo. One morning as I was there I had a vision of my late aunt telling that this is all test, confused by this I went to go speak to my grandmother about this dream.
As I approached my grandmother’s house, I found her, my mother and sister there waiting for me, three generations of strong women who had raised me at one point of my life all looking at me in the eye. I felt like they were staring into my soul, they then told me why I shouldn’t give up art, a conversation that felt so infinite, I felt like I was staring at God for the first time, as they spoke to me “God Ke Mama” was being completed in my head. I knew that I needed to get back to the city to start over again, the first masterpiece, I started and completed in 2019 was “God Ke Mama”. It then went off to be exhibited in Cannes during the 2019 Cannes film festival thereafter toured to London where it won the people’s choice award for the Young Masters Art Price 2019.
Giggs Kgole, If I Could, Silkscreen, 22,4cm x 32cm, Edition Size:30, 2019.
Narrative: [Stand and face the odds, if you stand upright and believe in yourself and your History, the future is yours to dictate]
Personal Story: These are my first ever silkscreens in the world. They mark the beginning of editions of Giggs Kgole Art Masterpieces.Each edition has its own uniqueness; these editions are the works that will help me get to my first artist residency in France.
Giggs Kgole, Where did it all go wrong, Mixed Media (Oil Paint, Charcoal, and collage on canvas), 200cm x 135cm, 2019.
Narrative: Xenophobia cases a chain reaction of social and economic issues... A coin has two sides, and both need to be addressed and looked at. Open for thoughtful discussions and plans of action.
Giggs Kgole, Ekse, Mixed Media (Oil & collage on canvas), 100cm x 160cm, 2019.
Narrative: [One seems to adjust and adopt a different persona when placed in hostile situations. We tend to act tough when our masculinity or lack of, is challenged by another being.]
Personal Story: Don’t you ever find it weird how we sometimes act and walk one way when we’re in Sandton but another way when we’re in Joburg CBD. Survival and adaptation shouldn’t be anything to be ashamed of. However, it doesn’t mean changing who you are at heart.
Giggs Kgole, Life impliesDeath Medium, Oil & Spray Paint on Black Linen, 280 x 140 cm, 2018.
Narrative: [The act of living is the act of challenging death, we win more times than we lose, we can only lose once and it’s game over forever. So every time we get to live another day, it’s a victory worth celebrating.]
Personal Story: I have had a handful of life-ending close encounters, at the end of 2018 after an interview on National TV, I was traveling back home during a rainy morning with my girlfriend. We were both happy with the interview and how bright our future was looking. Rainy conditions seemed to calm down as we exited a bridge, to only be shocked by a knock from the back of a larger vehicle. As the car lost control was about to hit a barricade, my life flashed in front of me. I was instantly knocked back to my senses by the screams of my petrified girlfriend. I didn’t want to die, I didn’t want her to die either. I wouldn’t forgive myself if anything happened to either of us. Facing death, I gathered myself and started steering the car wildly back and forth until we were at a safe standstill. I felt like Vin Diesel for those 5 seconds, afterward a wave of absolute fear, pain and horror flooded my body. That’s the day I saw that you could lose everything and everyone you’ve ever loved in an instant.
Giggs Kgole, Letter to the universe, “Retšwa kgole, re saya kgole” (We have come far and we’re still going far), Anaglyph & Collage on Canvas, NOTE: Put on 3D glasses to view the masterpiece, 130 x 52 cm, 2018.
Narrative: [“Dear universe, I believe you have put me in the path that I am for a
purpose. I appreciate all the lows and highs, near-death and life experiences. I know what my purpose is, it was written centuries before I was even born, the Gods before me have carried the baton and passed it down to me. Now I pave the journey for the next Gods to come after me. I promise to run and reach as Kgole (far) as I can]
Personal Story: In a space of 22 years, I’ve seen myself come out of a village in the middle of nowhere in Limpopo, South Africa. To live in the informal apartheid system township of Tembisa in Gauteng, South Africa. To attend school in one of Africa’s top boys School in Johannesburg, South Africa. Later to become the first person in my family line to attend university in Rome, Italy. To now be in an Artist residency in France in 2019 which will be the year this masterpiece is seen by the world. I have a baton and I am going to run far with it because I carry with me all my ancestor's hopes and dreams. “Retšwa Kgole, re saya kgole” (We have come far and we’re still going far).