Katlego Tlabela is a multidisciplinary artist best known for his interior paintings depicting Black people enjoying leisure in their luxurious domestic spaces. Made with acrylic, ink, and collage on canvas, his works often feature sprawling spaces with high-end furniture and walls. Along with adorned artwork that pays homage to other artists, he interrogates social and political issues in post-apartheid South Africa. Tlabela also works with sound, photography, and installation, and similarly to his paintings, skillfully uses print in text and fine composition to evoke and encourage discourse on race and representation.
The artist’s works for 1-54 London 2022 are a pivotal turning point, drawing attentioning from the luxurious domestic interiors to pay homage to Black historical and contemporary figures whose tenacity helped shape the physical environment in South Africa. Tlabela studied at the University of Cape Town’s Michaelis School of Fine Art, where he majored in printmaking.