I work in various media with a particular focus on printmaking and investigate mixing materials, the use of multiples, and drawing. I love the intended marks and layers of color and textures inherent in printmaking. Like the natural structures I use as subject matter, printmaking has a method and stages that are not always recognizable to the untrained eye. For me, the process has to build on itself to create the final image.Teaching is also very important to me, and I have been involved in arts education and public programming for 15 years. I have taught at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the Fullerton Museum Center in Orange County, and the City of Los Angeles, Department of Recreation and Parks. I am currently the Senior Curator of Public Engagement at the Craft & Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles.
Phumelele Tshabalala was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. He studied Fine and Applied Arts at Tshwane University of Technology specializing in Printmaking and Painting. He moved to New York to complete his MFA in Visual Art at SUNY Purchase College. He is currently living and practicing in Los Angeles , California. He interdisciplinary artist, creating socio-reflective figurative work that is primarily concerned about the human condition in light of social injustice. He is influenced by a lineage of South African artists who use art as a weapon to combat the atrocities like apartheid. Post-Apartheid he is amongst contemporary South African artists producing works that re-construct, re-claim, re-fine and refer to a new collective cultural identity. He uses the body as a site of expression and resistance; in some works the black body is a signifier and marker, deeply rooted in historical narratives that are not easily embraced. He is committed and dedicated to going beyond mere formal questions of making, but aims straight at the heart of who he is, what is going on around him and what he can do to make a difference. He believes in art that is not just an expression of individual satisfaction however a conceptually/technically belligerent and educative art for all.