African Realists


“Inner Waters” is finally complete!

Somewhere, far away, submerged ruins reflect in crystal waters. These mysteries lay undisturbed for untold centuries until the intrepid adventurers Kikivuli and Utunu use deep magic and clever might to work their way into the inner waters of the lost city.

Now Utunu has found a prize for his beloved hyena, who waits above with some mischief in mind. Poor ‘Tunus.

Created in Corel Painter X for the wonderful Kikivuli and Utunu.


Florence Wangui

Country: Kenya

Style: Realism

Medium: Charcoal on Paper, Oil on Canvas

Fun Fact: Third Prize Winner of Kenya’s Manjano in 2013

Quote: “I didn’t show anyone my sketch book until, late 2011, when I met Patrick Mukabi and told him I wanted to become a great artist and I’d appreciate his help,” “My mother was very strict and made us stay indoors while she went to work, so that’s when I had time to draw.”







Velaphi Mzimba

Country: Republic of South Africa

Style: Realism/Portraiture

Medium: Acrylic/Mixed Media

Fun Fact:

Although he was deeply involved in the struggle for liberation against apartheid, his work shows no hint of anger or pain. Instead his paintings have an infectious optimism that warms all viewers. This richness of spirit combined with an extraordinary technical virtuosity has no doubt led to the success that he has experienced over the last few years.


Having recently turned his hand to sculpting, Mzimba brings the same fascination with the wholesomeness of the everyday. His one-man show in Cape Town of his first bronzes was an exciting departure for the artist, the development of which we have watched with growing intrigue.



2. Soccer Queen

3. Untitled

4. Mrs Ntsanwisi

5. Untitled I

6. Untitled II


William Kentridge

County: South Africa

Style: Realism

Medium:Charcoal, pastel, and colored pencil on paper

Fun Fact: In 1989 Kentridge began making short animated films by photographing his charcoal drawings with a video camera and altering them in minute ways to move the story forward. The drawing and erasure of charcoal lines conjures an atmosphere of selective historical memory. Through a vast range of creative media, Kentridge constructs moral allegories out of lines and erasure to explore themes of love and betrayal, oppression and violence, death and regeneration.


In the activity of making work, there’s a sense that if you spend a day or two days drawing an object or an image there’s a sympathy towards that object embodied in the human labor of making the drawing. For me, there is something in the dedication to the image, whether it’s Géricault painting guillotined heads or another shocking image. There’s something about the hours of physically studying those heads and painting them that becomes a compassionate act even though you can tell that the artist is very cold-bloodedly and ghoulishly looking at disaster or using other people’s pain as raw material for the work.

That’s what every artist does—use other people’s pain as well as his own—as raw material. So there is—if not a vampirishness—certainly an appropriation of other people’s distress in the activity of being a writer or an artist. But there is also something in the activity of both—contemplating, depicting, and spending the time with it—which I hope as an artist redeems the activity from one of simple exploitation and abuse.


1. Untitled




5. Stereoscope

6. Still Life

7. ‘Tide Table’ (Soho in deck chair),