BIOGRAPHY

Molepe (b. 1994) in Westrand, South Africa is a visual artist based in Johannesburg.  His work shares the perspective of life as a black youth in post-apartheid South Africa. Molepe’s technical abilities developed early on as he spent his adolescence building computers. Technology has been a key influence on his practice. His curiosity about how things work led to his commitment to master the camera and postproduction techniques. He studied at Vega where his practice was enhanced by both a theoretical approach to the medium and technical photography skills. His precise craftsmanship and personal connection to his subjects result in a powerful body of work showcasing life in South Africa.

Molepe’s work has been featured in prestigious titles such as Desundo Magazine, The British Journal of Photography, and Vogue. In 2017 he was selected as one of South Africa’s Top 100 artist’s for Sasol’s Signature showcase. In 2020 his work was published in Oath Magazine, selected as one of the top picks for ones-to-watch for emerging voices from the African continent.

Commercially, he works with international and national clients like Adidas, Levi's, Visi, Superbalist and Daily Maverick. Molepe was commissioned by Marvel to work on a Black Panther project in collaboration with Trevor Stuurman. The project was exhibited in Maboneng, Johannesburg. South African Broadcast network commissioned Molepe to work on their important #Noexcuse campaign to protest gender based violence alongside brands like Jet, Danup, total, Protex, Nedbank and Ford. 

Townships in Johannesburg are an intricate part of Molepe’s practice, not only as a place of creation for his photographic practice but also a space of offering to give back to his community. He spearheads an initiative called ‘Ntwana Kasi’ which is a platform he created to teach children about finding their voices in the creative world.  He aides in inspiring young minds to create and manage successful careers in the arts. He hopes to impart critical lessons about honouring themselves and reaching their potential.

WORK

Molepe’s main objective is to create work that engages dialogue about society. Common themes of interrogation are identity, mental health, male masculinity, and life in his community. Johannesburg the city is an open source of inspiration for him. Molepe emphasizes the beauty of his environment by capturing his subjects with the dignity they deserve. By showcasing life in the township, void of a Western gaze, Molepe is reimagining representation and showcasing a true reflection of home and what it means to be South African.



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