The artistic hand

Do You Know The Last Sowetan Artist: David Mbele?

As promised New Jerusalem Children’s Home is constantly looking for ways to push the proverbial envelope and be the best in doing what it is known for which is championing the rights of children, in this case through the housing of orphaned and abandoned kids.

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To make this possible and sustainable, we are constantly looking for new ways to fundraise for the needs of the children which bring us back to the question…Do You Know the Last Sowetan Artist: David Mbele?
The late David Mbele was an artist born in Johannesburg in 1942. From an early age he developed an interest in art and sketched all aspects of township life around him. He spent his time after school copying cartoons from the newspapers. In 1958 he attended art classes at the Jubilee Art Centre under Cecil Skotnes and in 1959 he was encouraged to join the art class at Polly Street Center. Mbele is a graphic artist producing etchings and linocuts. He works mainly in pastels, chalks and he prefers earthy colours such as shades of brown, ochre and yellow, with black, white and grey for emphasis.

Mbele’s work belongs to the genre of township art. The subject matter of his paintings is the life of the Black man in the cities, portrayed with individual figures or groups of figures. They are shown going about their everyday activities, for example reading a newspaper, cooking, or enjoying a drink.
His figures are bold and big. He creates the human figure mainly through big circular and curvilinear forms. There is a considerable amount of bodily distortion in these figures, which at times contributes to the success with which he manages to express particular emotions or moods.

The Good News… New Jerudsalem Childrens Home is selling David Mbeles remaining works to fundraise for its new boys residential building scheduled to come up within the coming year. We would like to encourage all to get your hands on this lovely piece of South African history. For any queries or sales requests kindly contact Patrick Pro@njch.org.za | Raymond secretary@njch.org.za Tel: 010 224 0460 | Cell: 072 515 6659 | 082 739 5177

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