Renowned South African fine artist, motorbike adventurer, and philanthropist Reggie Khumalo has urged Africans to shun xenophobia and other inhumane activity practice that has threatened the unity, peace, and kindness shared among the blacks race.
He disclosed this during his first solo exhibition titled, “Mental Health” held between April 13th and 20th at the HourGlass Gallery, Lagos.
Khumalo encouraged all Africans to be liberated from the painful past and ushered in an Africa that radiates positivity and abundance.
He added that mental revolution is an awakening to the time when Africans were proud of who they were and the awakening of the potential of a different future.
“It’s a mental revolution and not physical. We are not fighting anyone with guns or anything like that, it’s a mental change. The inspiration behind the exhibition is simple, it wants to see African people believing in themselves again”, he pointed out.
Khumalo artwork centres on the idea of social change, sharing stories from his travels and his passion for humanitarian work.
“I think it’s important that we crisscross the continent as Africans in order to share our cultures, and different points of view and to learn from one another so as to capture a time in history”, he noted.
This Alexandra-born artist firmly believes in working on the continent in order to foster the spirit of oneness.
“My art inspires my travel and I generate income which I use to make a change wherever I can in order to inspire others to say where you are and what you’re doing is good enough to make a change. Also, I used proceeds from my paintings to impact society, especially kids from less privileged environments”, he said.
The figures in his paintings, mostly portraits, are interpretations of the faces he encounters along the way, often wearing local garb.
“We know people by how they dress so when you look at the images you know that this is where I’ve been. The clothing tells a story. I do capture the materials from some of the places that I’ve visited in my work.”
After the show in Nigeria, Khumalo has exhibitions scheduled at the Frieze Art Fair in London, Munich, Germany, and New York where he is set to spend a year in residency at the Bishop Gallery.
Founder J.Room Curated, Jimi Adesanya, said: “I have been a keen follower of his journey and I am a proud collector of his pieces. His travels and the pieces they inspire are truly remarkable”.
Founder, BrownEyedBoy Art Pursuits, Tshepo Hlongwane, said the exhibition marked a reinforcement of West Africa and South Africa collaborations.
Founder HourGlass Gallery, Dozie Igweze commended Khumalo for being able to raise funds to help African charitable organisations and institutions, noting that collecting his art is not only an investment but also a vehicle for social change.