On the occasion of Thato Seboko’s upcoming exhibition of which I asked to interview him about his new work I presupposed that he had retained that aspect of his art making preoccupation but that he would be advancing a new vehicle to deliver what is synonymous with his work. I was not proven otherwise when I had the chance to see the work at the opening at the Mellow House Factory on 16 April 2016. The canvas surface was acknowledged and the tint sepia effect that we spoke about in our interview prior to the exhibition opening was unmistakably visible. There were strong works in the exhibition which carried works that one felt more time would’ve done them justice. One left the exhibition space hopeful of the artistic journey that lies ahead of Seboko.
I spoke to Thato Seboko on Tuesday 12 April ahead of his solo exhibition opening at the Mellow House Factory in Tshwane, Hatfield. The artist was excited about his upcoming exhibition which will feature a new body of work comprising of 16 artworks. Presently he is working with a new media – hair dye, which is a non traditional art making material and can be looked upon as a new vehicle for artistic expression and thematic enunciation as far as new media is concerned. Since the artist retains a figurative approach in dealing with his subject matter something of fine art tradition is retained with regard to form but the accepted media of delivery is challenged and thus the boundary of art production process pushed further.
However if I may be allowed the privilege to give a general commentary on creativity itself I would like to offer that the artist, the creative person whatever the vocation of creativity that they are grappling with, for them concentration is everything. For in their pursuit to reach the original artwork the artist must work hard ceaselessly. Then I believe that they will reach a state wherein there is a ceaseless stream of consciousness towards creative art production. It is in that state that the artist will produce remarkable work that can claim a place in visual art history. In the future students of the arts will come across their names and work. And this is the highest ideal that art energy should try and attain through the life of the artist. The artist can channel it only without compromising hard work.
What follows is a speech prepared to open officially the For Sale Project Exhibition 2012. Due to the hype around the exhibition at the evening of 1 August and the throng of people who responded to the opening I never gave this speech. Avoiding the heavy burden of history I instead improvised and picked up the most salient ideas around the exhibition and its aims. The speech as it is reproduced below serves to pay homage to my contemporaries in Pretoria/Tshwane within the visual arts who have been involved in this project over the last decade. It is reproduced herein for all to gain an understanding of our attempts to move visual art forward in the City of Tshwane.
Good evening ladies and gentleman. Artists. Thank you for joining us this evening as we open this year’s installment of the For Sale Project Exhibition. My name is Mmutle Arthur Kgokong, I am a Culture Officer for the City of Tshwane and I am responsible for Education and Development at the Pretoria Art Museum. I feel honored to share this evening with you. I shall not give a critical commentary on the work that is on show for I believe that criticism in itself is designated to individual speculation as to what art concepts work better than others or which artwork is successful in a given context. Tonight I let you, in your personal capacity to be the judge – to be the connoisseur of fine art.