Asanda Kupa’s art speaks directly to South Africa’s dramatic socio-economic inequalities and its troubled political landscape. His expressionist work on the Marikana mine massacre in South Africa’s North West province began with a series of powerful oil paintings reflecting, in his works, “the rage of broken spheres, failing systems and cries for space and resources”.
Kupa, who was born and raised in the Eastern Cape, where many of South Africa’s mineworkers originate, is now working with two new mediums, charcoal and printmaking. He continues to engage with the dusty forsaken landscapes of Marikana, power struggles among factions, exploring the meaning of freedom, aiming to give voice to ‘the voiceless’.
Asanda Kupa presently works at Johannesburg’s Bag Factory studios, and in 2013 he was the recipient of the Reinhold Cassirer Award. He has been drawn to making art for as long as he can remember, and among his influences refers to the movement and colour of Gerard Sekoto’s paintings and the social-activist artist Banksy. He returns to the Eastern Cape on a regular basis.