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.
My journey into printmaking is informed by early work in the screen-printing industry. After graduating from the University of Oregon in Fine and Applied arts, I went to work at Bay Street Productions in Oregon as a color matcher and screen-printer for fine custom wallpapers. From there I’ve built a busy full time studio practice, making art daily. In addition to printmaking, I work in painting, ceramics, jewelry, fabric and combined techniques.The ancient tradition of the print is always at the heart of the work. Now decades into this journey, the pleasure of process and a newfound freedom with materials and techniques keeps it all moving into new territory. I make prints not as copies or reproductions at all. Silkscreen yields the jazzy and juicy layers of color, and clear shapes. Intaglio and monotype renders deep blacks of varying densities and values. Chine collé provides “moving parts” in the form of favored shapes and colors. Layering of colors, use of multiple plates, evolving plates, and marks allows the medium to “talk back” at some point. I treat printmaking as an open ended and ongoing investigation into a hidden world.Most recently I have established screen-printing courses at the Schack Art Center in Everett, Washington, and at the Kirkland Arts Center in Kirkland, Washington. In 2014 I taught a reduction screen-print workshop in Venice, Italy at the Scuola di Grafica. I worked in 2015 at the Skopelos Foundation in Greece. I am an active member of Print Arts Northwest, Seattle Print Arts, and Los Angeles Printmakers Society. Many of the hand-printed silkscreen prints are placed in national and international collections. At present my studios in Kirkland Washington, and in Downtown Los Angeles are open by appointment.While all this history is of value, real life is lived in the joy of process, in a world of visual wonder. My mission is to continue to share it, and to live it fully every day.
Join us February 1st, 2020 from 1PM-3PM For or a Gallery Walk through with participating artists followed by a Panel Discussion on "Migration and Art” with Pavel Acevedo, Marianne Sadowski and Phumilelele Tshabalala
Included in this exhibition is a special preview of PAPER BOATS, a small flotilla will be on view in preparation for LA Printmaking on view at SGCI 2023 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The ImMigration Project, back from an exciting installation in Venice Italy, in October 2019 currently comprises 145 artists from all over North America and Europe!