Mbombela's Bob Mnisi is a man to watch. A finalist in the 2014 ABSA L'Atelier, he started painting in 2002, when his employer recognised his passion and encouraged him to pursue his talent to wherever it may take him.
Inspired by this, Bob who works as a Butler, decided taking his hobby more seriously, and attended local art classes. As a child, he would sketch and make carvings of village scenes, animals and bird, often using the most basic materials such as wood and palm fronds. The classes taught him more refined methods such as pastels on paper, but the themes remained the same, African human forms and portraits, animals, birds and also landscapes. “I love nature, and am inspired by the animals, plants an d birds in the Kruger National Park, where I love to go to sit quietly in nature”, Bob smiles proudly, as he displays his beautiful and emotive art. “I am also motivated by life, and by people’s everyday activities. I watch people, and study them, then take the experience away with me to depict on my canvas”.
Apart from work inspired by nature, Bob does a number of commission based creations. Many of the pieces are on mixed media, he still makes use of palm fronds and wooden pallets, and he also works in mosaics, on cement, and with rags.
More and more people are starting to recognise Bob’s work, specifically certain of his pieces. He has had a number of exhibitions, including at the Mbombela Art Gallery, Penny College, Innibos National Art Festival and at the Middelburg Stadium for Language Awareness Day. One of Bob’s well-known pieces, titled “Initiation School” was bought by the Mbombela Gallery as a permanent fixture and is a stark and evocative portrait.
Nwabisa African Art is very proud to work with Bob and have the possibility to offer his work to you. Currently we have several of his Palm Frond Masks available in our Gallery. Please contact us if you have any questions about Bob and his art.
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