Neo Mahlangu

Visual artist | South Africa

Neo Mahlangu (1992) is a visual artist, based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Following her passion for art, she made the switch from the Healthcare industry to become a trailblazer in the visual art industry. Her style is characterized by charcoal works with acrylic on canvas. She shows sober, powerful female heads in a sleek white surface with an almost mythical appearance.

“I would rather capture women as divine or mythical sirens, feeling, living, warning and residing in their soft power without the influence of men and being outdone by the whims of men.”

Artworks

Portrait

Neo Mahlangu (1992) is a visual artist, based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Following her passion for art, she made the switch from the Healthcare industry to become a trailblazer in the visual art industry.

Mahlangu has created work that has braced the walls of the ABSA Gallery and has taken part in group exhibitions hosted by international brands such as Afropunk and Absolut Vodka. She received the title as one of the Design Indaba Emerging Creatives in 2018 and was listed as one of the top ten ‘Young Gauteng’ creatives by 100% Design South Africa.

Mapping a genealogy of feminine expression; often inadequate and poorly identified, which constitutes womanhood located in a cultural, racial and political context is what concretely and constructively influences her art.

Her body of work is searching for depth and ways of navigating life connected to experiences of being a black woman invested in politics.

She writes, “in reality, I spend inordinate amounts of time doing political work and my art gives me a break from that, while it is important to interrogate these issues for the overall material benefit and security of women, it is exhausting and this space and the creating process really relieve me of these obligations.

This complex feminist sensibility is easily seen free stylistic expression that isn’t framed within the guidelines of fine art, it further reflects this safe spaces where I can work with passion and abandon. I would rather capture women as divine or mythical sirens, feeling, living, warning and residing in their soft power without the influence of men and being outdone by the whims of men. It is self-asserting project so as to not experience life in a reduction – one informed by patriarchal impositions where men subsume the voices and ideas of women within a critical rubric that reinforces male supremacy.”

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Credentials

Exhibitions

2021

Undertow, OpenArtExchange, Schiedam, The Netherlands

2020

Venice International Art Fair, Venice, Italy

Ambiguous Group Exhibition, MMArtHouse, Johannesburg

2019

South African Mint #SA25, Latitudes Art Fair, Johannesburg

Voices and Choices, Constitution Hill, Johannesburg

FirstRand group exhibition, MMArtHouse, Johannesburg

Top 10 Young Gauteng’s Exhibition 100% Design South Africa, Johannesburg

MID group exhibition, AGOG Gallery, Johannesburg

Bibliotheca, Bag Factory Artist Studios, Johannesburg

2018

Continuing Conversations, University of Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg

Winter Group Exhibition, Julie Miller Art Gallery, Johannesburg

Creative Portraits group exhibition, 100% Design South Africa

Bogaleng Exhibition, Braamfontein, Johannesburg

Group Exhibition, Design Indaba Emerging Creatives, Cape Town

Talking to Deaf Ears group Exhibition, ABSA Gallery, Johannesburg (c)

Group Exhibition, Absolut One Source Festival of Creativity, Johannesburg

2017

Untitled Group Exhibition, St. Laurient Art Gallery, Brooklyn, Pretoria

Ringa! Afropunk x Umuzi Group Exhibition, Johannesburg and Cape Town

Art Alive Exhibition, Waterkloof High School, Pretoria

Collections

  • University of Johannesburg Collection
  • MMArthouse Collection

 

Education

  • Printmaking Training Programme – Artist Proof Studio
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Advertising – UMUZI
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Sales – CHIETA
  • BSc Medical Sciences – University of Pretoria
 

Awards

2020
Top 200 Young South Africans, Mail & Guardian Newspaper
 
Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) for the ImpACT Awards for Young Professionals Nominee
2019
Designing two R2 coins to commemorate 25 years of South Africa’s democracy, South African Mint
2018
Design Indaba Emerging Creative, Design Indaba
 
Top 10 Young Gauteng creatives, 100%Design South Africa
 
Top 40 Creatives under 30, Between 10and5
 
Top 10 finalist for Univ. of Johannesburg Emerging Artist Development Program, University of Johannesburg and the MTN Foundation
2017
Cassirer Welz Award Finalist, Bag Factory and Strauss&Co