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Artist Lounge: “Waste on Canvas”

The sole use of plastic is something I never thought I would associate with astounding creativity but meet Mbongeni Buthelezi, South Africa’s renowned artist, well known for his distinctive, subjective and inventive art style utilizing plastic and a canvas. Buthelezi has joined the green revolution by using waste to create art by ‘painting’ in recycled plastic.

Buthelezi lived and studied in his hometown Springs, South Africa where he was taught art privately by artist Lucky Moema. He received lessons in perception and sketch from Moema in exchange for bread and tea. Ultimately, Buthelezi made his way to Johannesburg, where he began studying at a community college called Funda.

Buthelezi has used plastic as his main source of material to create his art for the past 22 years. He got his initial inventiveness from a Swiss artist who used plastic as canvas for his artworks. His idea was to use plastic as a canvas as well as paint with the widely available and cheap material. This might leave you to ask: “How does he do that?” He simply cuts the plastics into little pieces and glues the pieces of plastic onto the canvas thus creating surfaces and structures with delicate and altering qualities of various colours.

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