This artist holds the antidote to our identity crisis

 

Loyiso Mkize has an extraordinary gift. An artist of rare talent, his work captures the identity and soul of his people. For years his prowess stayed hidden, concealed from the world. And then Mkize started posting his work online, built a following, and found global recognition.

Mkize is an illustrator, designer and painter who got his start in the industry as a cartoonist for Supa Strikas. He worked there for seven years before founding Loyiso Mkize Art, a visual arts and communications company. The artist also publishes KWEZI, a comic book about a black superhero character discovering his heritage while navigating the bustling metropolis of Gold City. When he isn’t working on illustrations, Mkize is in his studio painting artworks that reflect the African experience, unpacking major social issues that affect the country. After his work was discovered online he was commissioned to do nine pieces for Momentum, the action film starring Morgan Freeman.

Through the contrast of texture and colour, Mkize imbues his characters with dignity. African identity is key to his work. Thanks to his online reach, Mkize is showing African power and beauty to an audience who would never otherwise encounter it in this way.