26 May – 23 June 2022

Curated by Candice Berman


Khaya Sineyile asks what it means to be beautiful and what we should consider contemporary beauty.
In his exploration of a particular form of South African beauty through portraiture, he explores each individual character.
His subjects matter ranges from people he knows to people he meets by chance.

What is the societal standard of beauty and how do we perceived what beauty should be?

Sineyile’s work emphasises the ordinary. With the bold use of colour in the background of his subjects, he quite literally highlights the sitter who often poses in very comfortable and natural positions. In I’m Black and Beautiful the subject a young woman wearing glasses stares out at the viewer. She is aware she is being seen and she is comfortable in her skin.

The Black Man Own Your Own the subject stands casually with his hands in his pockets but is acutely aware of his celebrity and how he is being perceived and his involvement in the construction of that perception. His dark skin contrasts the floodlight yellow background and the work’s size demands our full attention. This is a portrait of a man who is conscious and proud of his appearance. He lik es to be looked at and to some degree embraces objectification as he has built his persona around the suave and attractive contemporary black man.

This exhibition immerses us in the private lives of various South African individuals. It pierces deeply into each person and persona with an uncluttered approach to portraiture.