Lawrence Lemaoana, Zuma is like Jesus, 2017, Khanga textile and cotton embroidery, Dimensions variable, Courtesy AFRONOVA GALLERY
Lawrence Lemaoana, Zuma is like Jesus, 2017, Khanga textile and cotton embroidery, Dimensions variable, Courtesy AFRONOVA GALLERY 

Lawrence Lemaoana is a Johannesburg-based artist, producing graphic fabric works that critically engage with mass media in present-day South Africa. Seeing the relationship between media and the ‘people’ as inherently problematic, he identifies and repurposes existing control apparatuses using his trademark cynicism. Lemaoana’s embroidered works are emblazoned with appropriated political dictums woven in kanga fabric – a material with its own complex ancestry. Here, Lemaoana wages criticism on the agency of local media, and its ability to shape social consciousness: the result turns didactic and propagandistic tools on their heads. Lemaoana’s works have been widely exhibited, with his first solo exhibition in 2006. Recent exhibitions include The Art of Disruptions, Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town (2016); Social Fabric: African Textiles Today, William Morris Gallery, London (2016); and Art_Textiles, The Whitworth, Manchester (2015–16). Art/Afrique, le nouvel atelier, Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris, is on show through August 2017.