Meet visual artist Qhama Maswana

The Eastern Cape-based painters work is a celebration of African beauty.

Qhama Maswana

Qhama Maswana is a young South African artist who specialises in painted portraits that speak to the beauty and challenges of life on the African continent. Born in King Williams Town in 1991, he is currently still based in the Eastern Cape where he practices from his home studio.

His remarkable paintings combine oil and acrylic paints with precise brushwork, creating striking imagery that Maswana believes has the ability to impart their hidden folklore upon viewers. Partly driven by a passion for photography, he uses his imagination and creativity to move scenes captured by his camera onto a canvas where he then meticulously brings it to life.

Qhama Maswana

It was while studying at the University of Fort Hare, where he completed his National Diploma in Fine Arts in 2015, that Maswana developed the vocal, conceptual and visual language evident in his paintings. Dwelling heavily upon concepts of African beauty, heritage and culture, his artwork is dominated by images of the female form. It is from this site that Maswana believes aspects of African beauty originate.

“I try with every finished work to breathe life into a long forgotten heritage,” Maswana says. “Africa inspires most of my art; the beautiful people, their full lips, thick hair and amazing skin tone. I am inspired by the strength of the people and I see royalty in all of them. So my artwork speaks not only for me but for the people who have long been silenced.”

Qhama Maswana

Some of Maswana’s work can be found at his alma mater, UFH, where he was commissioned to produce work for the university’s centenary celebration. He is also available for private commissions and you can follow him on Instagram here.