A Xhosa noun Meaning - (South Africa)



Thabiso Phepeng aka Mzansi Artist uses a combination of postmodern African art, abstract expressionism and graffiti influences. The mix of influences has refined a style reflected in his work through the intense focus on process as opposed to working towards a pre-planned result. He loosely describes as “Mark Making” or “Paint for the sake of paint and colour for the sake of colour.

Born in 1981 and now currently living in Zürich since Dec. 2014, having spent most of his life in South Africa, He started painting and drawing formally at the age of 11 in Thaba-Nchu, a small township town in the former landlocked Country of Bophuthatswana ( Disbanded in 1994) in an institution called Mmabana Arts and Cultural Centre. In 1999 He then went on to study a Fine Art (NDip) in Tshwane University of Technology (Pretoria, South Africa). Ever since then to date he continues to practice the discipline, as the journey goes he draws a mix of influences from his experiences, surroundings, living space, relationships and family.

Welcome to his journey of the process...

"Proto-realistic Surrealism"

"The forms and shapes on your painting seem subconscious in their nature, much like what your brain does when you dream. It recombines images, shapes, forms, persons that you saw during the day (consciously and subconsciously) into an independent creative whole.
When trying to interpret my dreams, I often feel that I don't rationally understand them, but more emotionally. I feel that I know what they are, as released and unwound (or rather untied) thoughts.

Thoughts that unwind from a fork onto a plate..
When looking into your paintings (I must say looking into, i.e. literally zooming into the details, or better being zoomed in), my thoughts resonate on a subconscious level, they are dragged in. Your art stands between surrealism in its psychological point of view and abstract painting. It gives more grip mentally than abstract painting, but not as much as any form of realism. I would, therefore, call it "Proto-Realistic Surrealism".

Thoughts of Sebastian Lange.


Über Thabiso Phepeng (Künstler)

Thabiso Phepeng alias Mzansi Artist bedient sich einer Kombination aus Postmoderner Afrikanischer Kunst, Abstraktem Expressionismus und Graffiti. Mit diesem Mix aus Einflüssen hat er einen Stil geschaffen, der sich in seinen Werken im intensiven Fokus auf den Prozess (im Gegensatz zum Hinarbeiten auf ein geplantes Ergebnis) zeigt. Er beschreibt seine Kunst lose als "Spuren hinterlassen" oder "Farbe um der Farbe Willen ".

Thabiso Phepeng wurde 1981 in Südafrika geboren und verbrachte dort die meiste Zeit seines Lebens, bevor er im Dezember 2014 nach Zürich kam. Er begann im Alter von 11 Jahren in Thaba-Nchu, einem kleinen Township im damaligen Land Bophuthatswana (1994 wieder in Südafrika eingegliedert), im Mmabana Arts and Cultural Centre fokussierter zu malen. 1999 begann er, Bildende Kunst an der Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria, Südafrika, zu studieren. Seither befindet er sich auf einer fortlaufenden Reise und verarbeitet Einflüsse aus seiner Umwelt, seinen Erlebnissen, Beziehungen und seiner Familie in seinen Werken.

Willkommen zu seiner Reise durch den Prozess…

"Proto-realistischer Surrealismus"

Zitat von Sebastian Lange, aus dem Englischen

"Die Formen und Gestalten deiner Bilder scheinen in ihrem Wesen unterbewusst, ungefähr so wie das, was dein Gehirn tut, wenn du träumst. Es kombiniert Eindrücke, Formen, Personen, die du während des Tages gesehen hast, neu (bewusst und unterbewusst) zu einem eigenständigen kreativen Ganzen.

Wenn ich versuche, meine Träume zu interpretieren, habe ich oft das Gefühl, dass ich sie rational nicht verstehe, eher emotional. Ich glaube, dass ich weiss, was sie sind, als freigesetzte und entspannte (oder eher entknotete) Gedanken. Gedanken, die sich von einer Gabel auf einen Teller abwickeln.

Wenn ich in deine Bilder schaue (im wahrsten Sinne hineinschaue, in die Details zoome, oder besser, hineingezoomt werde), dann schwingen meine Gedanken auf einem unterbewussten Level mit, sie werden hineingezogen.

Deine Kunst steht zwischen Surrealismus in seiner psychologischen Betrachtungsweise und abstrakter Malerei. Sie gibt mental mehr Halt als abstrakte Kunst, aber weniger als jede Form des Realismus. Ich würde sie daher Proto-Realistischen Surrealismus nennen."



B.1977 Timaru New Zealand

Chris Garside is an artist and photographer who works from his studio in Zürich and lives in Andermatt Switzerland.


At an early age Chris was exposed to the creative community through his passion for skateboarding, street art and city life. Constantly inspired by his friends and surroundings. At age fifthteen he aquired his first anolog camera and started to document the rich culture surrounding him.


Growing up in New Zealand in a family where travel and creativity were greatly appreciated and encouraged it wasn't long before he embarked on his first journey abroad with a one way ticket to Germany and no idea what would follow!

His travels soon led him into the mountains of Austria and shortly after on a fifteen year pursuit, chasing snow and documenting the action. During this time he switched from photography to video and produced material for TV and Action sports companies.


Chris arrived in Zürich in 2011 and after stints working for swiss television, labouring on building sites and trying to figure out what to do next. He begun to photograph again. Like in his childhood he was again drawn into city life, creative types and the world of art and creativity.


Nearing the end of 2017 Garside moved away from the city and into the mountainess region of Andermatt in the swiss alps. Chris currently works between his studio in Zürich and home of Andermatt.

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