Colbert Mashile, Man in the Arena, charcoal,2016,  pastel and Indian ink on paper, 108 x 79.5 cm, Courtesy of CIRCA Gallery London
Colbert Mashile, Man in the Arena, charcoal,2016, pastel and Indian ink on paper, 108 x 79.5 cm, Courtesy of CIRCA Gallery London  

Colbert Mashile’s unique iconographical language deals with the mystical, mythological, and archaic elements of traditional African culture and its legacies in contemporary life. While his early work explored the long-term psychological impact of circumcision and initiation rituals, Mashile now constructs works that address issues such as home, language, and the natural landscape. Drawing on his own memories and experiences, the artist harnesses uses an intuitive praxis that recalls both Surrealism and the satirical Pop art of Phillip Guston, or more recently, George Condo.

Mashile’s work has been featured in solo exhibitions at NIROXprojects, Johannesburg, South Africa (2015); SMAC Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa (2015); and Art Eye Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa (2013). Group exhibitions include Les Arts de la Coexistence? (2006); Negotiated Identities, Black Bodies (2005); and Circumcised/Circumscribed (2003).