3 Of Africa visual artists you need to know2 minute read

A great visual artist will give you a visual experience that makes you think or feel differently. Here are three spectacular Of Africa visual artists who are not only changing how we see and experience art but how we see all things Of Africa.

1. Manthe Ribane

From Johannesburg, South Africa, Manthe is a multidisciplinary Artist and a Conceptual Director who has been described as, “half performance artist, half musician, but mostly, a muse.” She once declared “I’m not afrofuturistic. I’m Manthe Ribane, I’m a queen with a calling to inspire and create timeless work”.

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"I strongly believe that it’s my responsibility to create respectful art with my purpose to create a more respectful and powerful future generation. We only have each other to grow , so we can’t afford to destroy the foundation." • Manthe ribane is a Soweto based performance artist whose medium ranges from music and dance to design and fashion. Manthe has been featured in magazines like I-D, has danced on tour with Die antwoord, works as a graphic designer at 113 studios owned by her siblings and released an EP in 2016. Manthe is the embodiment of a multifaceted artist who is passionate about creating, innovating and inspiring. • #ofafrica #ofafricamag #innovators #innovation #artist #music #fashion #model #dancer #graphicdesigner #africanmodels #soweto #africancreatives #blackgirlmagic #melanin #african #blackexcellence

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If you love fashion, colour and creativity follow her on Instagram.

2. Wangechi Mutu

From Nairobi, Kenya. Wangechi. “Her practice has been described as engaging in her own unique form of myth-making, one in which the interweaving of fact with fiction opens up possibilities for another group of symbolic female characterisations, markedly different from those that appear in either classical history or popular culture.

For all things, Wangechi (inspiration, daily life, and updates about her work) follow her on Instagram.  

3. Aida Muluneh

Aida is a world-renowned photographer and contemporary artist from Ethiopia. As she told Art News her goal is “to make art digestible, no matter whether you’re a bourgeois blah blah or someone from any other spectrum of society. I also want to make Africa digestible in a different way. When people think about Africa right now, they often only think about animals, war, and famine. I’m trying to distort that impression to provoke questions in a different sense.”

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"There is no denying that we live in a visual world, in which misrepresentations of one group of people are harvested through various media outlets…as witnesses of our generation, we have an obligation to document and share with the world the other side of the story, instead of the one that we see through the foreign gaze." . Aida Muluneh is an award winning Ethiopian photographer and artist who was raised in Canada and gained a bachelor in film, radio and television from Howard University in the US. Muluneh now based in Addis Ababa, uses art to reflect a nuanced view of African culture and combat the historic misrepresentation of Africa, its culture and its peoples. Muluneh uses Art as a tool of advocacy as it changes existing narratives and confronts misconceptions. Her work has been exhibited at the National Museum of African Art in Washington, DC and galleries around the world. Muluneh also founded DESTA (Developing and Educating Societies Through the Arts) and is currently the director and curator of the first international photography festival the Addis Foto Fest. . . #ofafrica #ofafricamag #innovators #innovation #photography #africanartist #africanphotography #artist #Ethiopia #addisababa #blackgirlmagic #melanin #african #diaspora #blackexcellence

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Her Instagram is full of poetry, her travels and her experience of motherhood.

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Julia Chanda Zvobgo is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of ‘Of Africa’. She was born in Zimbabwe and raised in The Netherlands. As an Afropean she is always looking for new and creative ways to “make the invisible, visible”. She is a co-founder and a member of 'ethnovision' a collective of visual anthropologists and filmmakers. Julia also volunteers as the Director of Communications & Development for Tariro House of Hope, an NGO that transforms the lives of children and their communities in Zimbabwe.