I approached the sculpture as organically as possible. The form is not meant to resemble a specific animal or thing but a cell that changes shape depending on one’s perspective – a ‘blob’ like an amoeba, a phallic but abstract form.
18th Biennale of Sydney participant artist Nicholas Hlobo.
Nicholas Hlobo has developed a distinctive body of work, stitching and weaving disparate materials such as ribbon, rubber, gauze and leather to create seductively tactile sculptures and drawings. His works are richly layered, anchored in references to Xhosa culture and the experience of life in post-Apartheid South Africa, while reflecting upon themes of language and communication, gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity…
Different as they may look as one scans down a page of images, wide ranging as his sources may be, Hlobo’s works and performances are distinguished by an unusual clarity of vision and sensitivity to materials. Addressing issues of sexual identity, challenging stereotypes, sometimes wildly exuberant, sometimes cool and reflective, each piece has been fully resolved in its own way…
Innuendo is key to the burgeoning practice of Johannesburg-based artist Nicholas Hlobo, although there is also something markedly clear, even forceful, about an encounter with any one of his many phallic sculptures. Take, for example, the deliriously out-of-kilter penis he exhibited on his début solo outing, ‘Izele’ (2006), at Cape Town’s Michael Stevenson gallery in 2006…