Abe Mathabe

Artist Statement

I was born in an informal settlement called Pimville.  I am the fourth of eight siblings.  When I was a few months old, my parents were allocated a house in the far west of Soweto, Naledi and educated there. My artistic ability started at a very young age due to my poor background, I had to make toys using materials like clay, paper, sticks, tins, grass and wire.  My drawing skill was noticed by one of my grade four teachers and I had my first commission artwork for her – I earned 20 cents!

I also participated in dance and music but decided  to focus and practice art on a full time basis.  I qualified as a graphic designer after being sponsored to study at the Johannesburg Art Foundation and thereafter, worked and studied for another three years at the Artist Proof studios in Newtown, Johannesburg. I have travelled extensively to Cardiff in Wales, Burnie in Tasmania and Amsterdam.

Image credit: Giovanni Piesco