Zandile Tshabalala

South Africa

Johannesburg-based painter Zandile Tshabalala enjoyed her first solo show at ADA Contemporary Art Gallery in Accra, Ghana, before she had even completed her degree in fine art in 2021. Titled “Enter Paradise, it placed Black women in the foreground of the frame, a place Zandile felt they were absent from in the art history she was studying for her degree. Born and raised in Soweto, South Africa, Zandile counts Kerry James Marshall, Henri Rousseau and Njideka Akunyili-Crosby among her inspirations (as well as her own mum, and Beyoncé) and wants her paintings “to re-represent the Black woman in a more confident, sensual, beautiful manner.” WePresent featured Zandile’s portraits and spoke to her about why “vanity, for a Black woman, is long overdue.”

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The attitude that I’m chasing in the work is about being yourself without diluting anything – being whomever you desire to be and being unapologetic about it.