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There are people who appreciate a difference and usually embrace it when it adds value to their being. When the world shies away from anything altered, that usually means there’s something special hidden in the moss. They soon appreciate its rareness and then put a price on it. That’s when you realise that the soul of an artist is priceless and so is his art.

Theko Boshomane recognises his flaws and bears his braveness for the world to judge and scrutinise. He doesn’t do this for the lack of privacy but knows that you have to expose a piece of yourself to be amongst the finest warriors. He’s a fighter armed with a paint brush and the paper he paints on is his battlefield. Look on to his destruction and marvel at his artistic insanity.

I spent P-hive Minutes with Theko Boshomane and realised that you have to push past creative boundaries whilst rendering life’s concerns to express your true inner self.

When did first pick up a paint brush and decided to make a career from it?

When my mentor and friend Jonas Mailula first taught me how to paint in 2006 and that’s when I knew I would do forever. After I finished school, I wanted to study fine art but due to my parents’ insecurities, I ended up studying for an LLB at the University of Limpopo. In 2009, I was given an opportunity to study fine art at the University of Technology and that’s how I realised that what I was doing wasn’t just a talent but a calling.

You recently hosted an exhibition of your latest work at the DOPEstore. What theme was your series centred on?

The exhibition was centred on the notion that we often overlook the hardships and struggles that our past leaders had gone through for us to be living in what we call the new South Africa today. I wanted to celebrate and recognise these influential leaders, who I feel are being forgotten and are fading along with their history.

On average, how long did it take to complete a piece of your artworks?

One piece would usually take me about three to four weeks of sleepless nights and intense concentration. The work and effort has its demons but it’s worth every second.

What’s the inspiration behind your work? Do you focus on anything specifically?

The inspiration behind my art is my desire to explore and understand myself in a world that does not accept anything that it doesn’t appreciate, whilst overcoming my childhood trauma. I strongly believe that art has the power to heal and answer all the questions that I have within me and about myself. My art is about me even when it doesn’t make sense. I hope it will someday.

Is there a special reason why you paint portraits of historical political figures?

I focused a lot on historical political figures prior to the exhibition I hosted recently because I felt it was something I had to address then. I’d be limiting myself and my creativity if I only painted historical folks. I paint what I feel. I want the world to always ask what’s next because I love the attention.

Who inspires you and your work?

I’m inspired by everyday people. Everyone I meet always leaves me with some sort of fulfilment, something to explore and appreciate. What I value the most is human connection. I revisit my past every time I feel misunderstood and I end up criticising the same people through my art.

Has art taught you anything that you apply to the way you choose to live your life?

Art has taught me to always say what I feel and to be myself no matter what, as millions of people go through the same situations I face. It has taught me to be humble, patient and to keep focused.

If you could sum up the world and draw it in one single image, what would you illustrate?

I would draw a beautiful naked woman wearing high heels because nothing feels real anymore. Almost anything can be packaged and bought. The world is always waiting for something dramatic to happen.

Do you experience any difficulties when you work? How do you overcome it?

Knowing when to stop has always been my problem when it comes to making art. I get carried away and end up giving the audience no space to question but only to appreciate my work. I revisit every work I make especially when I think there’s more room for improvement. That’s where the magic happens.

What do you do outside your work for fun and relaxation?
I go out and visit friends. I’m a simple guy who produces his art in peace. Art does not try to control or change me.

What is your ultimate dream and when would you say you’ve succeeded and made it?

When I’ve have caught the world’s attention and I make sense that’s when I’ll say I’ve made it. I want to get paid for my work and not have to do anything else just to get by. I find that hard with all the pressure from family and friends. I was quite thrilled when I won a Sasol New Signature Merit Award in 2013 and it motivated me to work harder.

Are you working on any artworks at the moment?

My latest artworks are focused on the stereotypes of beauty, what society accepts as beautiful and unattractive. Most importantly, I’m focusing on the influence the media has on that topic. I know what it’s like to be rejected because of something you can’t change. I think that’s one of the highest causes of suicide all over the world.

As a fine artist, what is art to you?

Art is a prison and it is freedom. It is way of life, a language and an instrument that simplifies what I feel. It is everything to me.

Start noticing how the little insignificant things build up into something profound and life-changing. When a goal still resides in your mind, even in your sleep, wake up and make it work. What you believe in should not be taken lightly and what you put out should stand firm. If something still touches you, then by all means invest in it and watch it work for you. An imperative dream is always worth the trouble and don’t you ever doubt it.

I spent P-hive Minutes with an artist who strongly believes in his intuition and translates it into a tangible piece of art that sticks right in the soul. He believes in his aspirations, so why in world wouldn’t you do the same?

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