Nontsikelelo Veleko, Trio III, 2007, Pigment print on cotton rag paper, 42 x 30 cm / 17 x 12 in, Edition of 10, Courtesy AFRONOVA GALLERY
Nontsikelelo Veleko, Trio III, 2007, Pigment print on cotton rag paper, 42 x 30 cm / 17 x 12 in, Edition of 10, Courtesy AFRONOVA GALLERY 

Nontsikelelo ‘Lolo’ Veleko is a photographer noted for her candid portrayal of Black identity, urbanisation, and street style in post-apartheid South Africa. After moving to Johannesburg, Veleko studied at the Market Theatre Photo Workshop (1999–2004). In 2006, works from Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder (2003–04) – a portrait series depicting South African street style – gained her international recognition when exhibited in Snap Judgments: New Positions in Contemporary African Photography, at the International Center of Photography (ICP), New York. This series in particular exemplifies Veleko’s confrontation with stereotypes associated with gender and race. More broadly, her technique documents how South African urbanites are using fashion to express, construct, and defy representation. In 2008, Veleko received the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Visual Art in recognition of her touring exhibition, Wonderland (2008–09). Group exhibitions include Africa Now – Political Patterns, Seoul Museum of Art (2014–15); and Worldwide Africa: Fashioning Personhood, Minneapolis Institute of Arts (2013–14).