Fauvism relies on colour to project mood. Separated from its representational purpose, colour lives as an independent element on the canvas. Drawing on this twentieth-century art movement, Cape Town-based artist Khanyisa Ketse created The Beginning, a dramatic ode to his experience of modern culture. We spoke to the 23-year-old about his inspirations and navigating the creative world as a self-taught artist.
Please tell me a bit about yourself?
I'm a 23-year old Xhosa man from the Eastern Cape and part of a small family of 5. I grew up in Humansdorp, a small town about 80 km from Nelson Mandela Bay. Growing up I was never really into Visual Arts. I actually did Physical Sciences and Engineering Graphics and Design in High School.
The first time I did anything that was art related was when I had to submit a portfolio for my Architectural Technology application. In order to get in, I had to do a one year foundation course that consisted of fashion, graphic, and Architectural Design. This is where I did figure drawings, portraits, painting and screen printing.
The digital art that I do is self-taught from YouTube videos and my prior knowledge of art.
How would you describe your work?
I have a wide range of work that I do. I'm a designer and I can do all types of art. However, this particular body of work I would say has a Fauvism feel to it. The brush strokes and colour scheme I use gives it a van Gogh post-impressionism/modern feel, which is what I am going for. I'm bringing the old to a new digital platform.
Are you a commercial artist or someone who creates for fun?
A bit of both. At first, I used to do it strictly for fun. But ever since I started KC Digital, my digital design company ... I've gone more commercial.
What inspires you?
I'm inspired by my 2 little sisters Ovayo (10) and Simanye (5). They are my biggest fans. Most of my art is seen first by them before anyone else. The look on their faces when they see what I've created just makes me want to create every second of every day.
Where do you create new work?
I create all my work on my computer at home Adobe Creative Suites. That's what I do on weekends.
How would you describe yourself as a creative?
I work best when it's just me in a quiet room where I can think and not be disturbed. That is when the magic happens.
What’s your greatest challenge at the moment?
My greatest challenge at the moment would have to be getting out of my comfort zone. I'm trying to create new things but I keep going back to what I know and what I'm comfortable with. Hopefully, soon I can create some groundbreaking work, something that both my audience and myself can admire for years to come.
What’s the best part about what you do?
The best part of what I do is simple, creating beautiful imagery is all it's about. Everything else is just a bonus. Being able to look at my work and say, "That's me" is the best part.
Who are your greatest idols?
My father, Sandile Sijadu. He came from nothing to being the best at what he does nationally. He is the definition of self-made.