Khaya Witbooi (b. 1977), grew up in Uitenhage in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. After matriculating in 1995 he did a college course in draughtmanship and started working as an illustrator for an architectural firm while doing freelance work for The Argus newspaper in Cape Town (court sketches, cartoons etc.). He also specialised in the painting of portraits.
In June 2010 he was selected to join the Good Hope Artist’s Studio programme where he was given a studio and the opportunity to paint full-time. In December 2011 he was awarded an artist’s residency at the more prestigious Greatmore Studios in Woodstock, Cape Town.
Witbooi uses a combination of stenciling and oil painting to express his observations, usually of socio-political nature. The result is edgy and urban with an African relevance. Topics like the seeming failure of democracy to provide solutions to problems related to post-colonial and post-apartheid South Africa, human behaviour in this context and the effects of globalisation are dealt with regularly. It provides valuable insight into a world the viewer seldom had the opportunity to experience first-hand.
“I’ve taken it upon myself to make a statement of a concerned citizen. I’m not expecting people from around the world to do it before I do. If there’s any person to make the first comment, it is the person who feels it immediately, and I’m that person.” – Khaya Witbooi
2013 SPI National Portrait Award, Top 40 finalist
2017 History Begins With a Garden, Gallery MOMO, Johannesburg, South Africa
2015 Origi-nil, Joburg Art Fair, Johannesburg, South Africa
2014 My people, let Pharao go, Worldart Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
2013 New dog, old tricks, Worldart Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
2014 Paint Matters, Barnard Gallery, Cape Town
2013 YOUNG VISIONS IN MOTION,curated by Kent Lingeveldt, Bremerhaven, Germany
2013 In the Shadow of the Rainbow, Johannesburg Art Fair, Johannesburg
2012 Our fathers, The AVA Gallery, Cape Town South Africa
NOSANA SONDIYAZI IN CONVERSATION WITH CHARL BEZUIDENHOUT
KHAYALETHU WITBOOI DREW HIS OWN PLANS TO ESCAPE POVERTY.
Khaya WitbooiSunday Times Lifestyle 26 March 2017
THE REVOLUTION OF IT ALL
Khaya WitbooiArt Africa September 2015
Khaya WitbooiSunday Times Lifestyle Magazine 13 July 2014
MY PEOPLE, LET PHARAOH GO
Khaya WitbooiArt South Africa June 2014
PORTRAITS OF ARTISTS AS YOUNG ACTIVISTS
Khaya WitbooiBusiness Day 6 June 2013
PERSONAL STORIES IN COLOUR
Khaya WitbooiWeekend Argus 16 March 2013
GUNS ARE ROSES
Khaya WitbooiAmandla! December 2012
ARTFUL MOVE TO TURN A SQUAT INTO EXHIBITION SPACE
Khaya WitbooiThe Sunday Times 4 November 2012