I was born a Visual Artist and my dad’s late young and only brother; Sibusiso “Kau” Kunene was an incredible Creative, but he died with talents, although at the time, I already knew that I can draw, and really well for kid my age at the time, and with age, I fell in love with explaining concepts sometimes concepts my peers knew nothing about, that lead to me studying to being an Educator and last year I quit the Education sector to be a full time Art practitioner, because I felt that what the prescribed curriculum I was paid to
How did art create a good platform for you?
educate our future leaders about, was not resonating to the TRUTH, that we should be engaging about, especially as a developing Democratic country, therefore I felt that with one MONDLIART® piece, I can narrate OUR stories TRUTHFULLY and in an AUTHENTIC manner, so that the younger generation future
leaders of this country can engage and learn about the social contentious issues faced by our beloved country South Africa and the continent as a whole. The TRUTH needs to be told, for it will, SET US ALL FREE.
- As an ambivert (having both characteristics of an extravert and introvert), Art became the voice I can use in
How would you explain the art you create?
any situation to engage with any characters from all walks of life, regardless of their colour, race or creed. Furthermore, I have used Art as a platform to provoke thoughts in people within the midst of people
painting the same things and giving those paintings different names, I came in and broke the chain of
monotonous paintings that mimic one another and I started creating artworks that are not only original but the way I create them and the stories I am painting about are also original and no one is currently or previously painting about, even South African artists prior my birth did not, so I believe it time we told our stories the way they should be told, unless we want foreigners to narrate them for us as they perceive them to be.
What does your name Mondli mean to you
- MONDLIART® pieces are created whilst listening to a strict playlist of ALL albums of the following geniuses:
Dr. Dre, Kanye West, Busta Rhymes, Nas, Jayz, Coldplay, Notorious BIG, KRS-One, Lloyd Banks, The Game,
Xzibit and PushaT, only!!! All the MONDLIART® pieces are created without having a background sketch first painted as a guide to how the final piece must look like, and the likes of Jayz, Busta, KRS & Biggie Were notoriously know to be able to rap songs without writing them down then recite them thereafter, I too do the same, I know exactly what I want to communicate, there is no need for background sketches. The materials I use range from Acrylic to oil paint, Warthog tusks, ostrich and crocodile leather, gold dust, I dub MONDLIART® as #BrushStrokesFromTheFuture, which is a hashtag I use when posting MONDLIART® pieces
and you can google it too to view some of my work.
MONDLI, is a Nguni Name and in English it means “the Sustainer” I am sustaining my life and the mind of the viewers and investors of MONDLIART® pieces, as they seek the TRUTH, which MONDLIART® is about.
Where were you raised as a child and how do you think it has influenced your art?
I was born in Soweto, Emndeni, we then moved to the Vaal, which is a total contrast of the lifestyle lived in Soweto, and that has influenced my personal trait into being an ambivert, there are elements of extreme truths within my work but also, my subtlety in executing the finest details and usage of subliminal symbolism within my pieces, makes them sophisticated.
What do you plan to achieve with your art in the next 5 years?
- Next five years, a league of extraordinary young fiery and highly talented South African youth from the Vaal will be taking the baton from me, as I will be opening the MONDLIART® Hub, where I will be grooming them Furthermore, this new generation will be more engaged and in touch with current state affairs domestically and abroad, due to me guiding them on how to use the power of internet as most people still do not know how to utilize it properly and incorporate it into their works of Art. In five years, MONDLIART® will have projects that not only empowers and gives hope to the creative youth from Vaal area but it will also be creating a platform for South Africans to understand Art in a new way that will create jobs too and debunk myths and misconceptions about each other, and most importantly, create a sense of social cohesion.
Do you have any plans for an exhibition soon or just future art works ?
I am going to be exhibiting soon again towards the months of July and September, also I will be having MONDLIART® pieces featured in the next international film created by South African legendary Comedian, Director, Script writer and Actor, Mr. Kagiso Lediga, who is my first of three favourite comedians and I had the pleasure of meeting him for the first time in Cape Town whilst I was exhibiting at the Design Indaba this year. Furthemore, I have another possible exhibition at the IDC in Sandton, but I cannot divulge too much info about it for now.
Generally people, (OUR PEOPLE), love my work but feel I am creating for the “upper class” to consume, not realizing that Art, especially MONDLIART® pieces, are created for allpeople to engage about and for those that can afford them will buy them, but it does not cost a cent to voice out the thoughts and feelings that I provoke deep within you when
experiencing my work, whether you have R1.00 or R1 million to your name, because rather than a product, I am offering the people an EXPERIENCE instead.
Yours in High Art,
Mondli “ The Artivist” Kunene