Khanyile, Phumzile
Born 1991 in Soweto, South Africa
Lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa
Phumzile Khanyile is a Johannesburg-based photographer and Market Photo Workshop graduate originally from Soweto. Phumzile’s work explores the lives of women through evocations of her own experiences, breaking down social taboos in explicit exploration of sexual politics. There is little distinction between her craft and her own life in the images, which read like a private journal of candid snapshots. Her gritty aesthetic, characterized by dark contours, soft focus, and lush textures, lends her work its notable emotive quality. As the recipient of the 2015 Gisèle Wulfsohn Mentorship in Photography, a development scheme supporting activism through photography in the spirit of late South African documentary photographer Gisèle Wulfsohn, Khanyile produced a body of work under the guidance of artist Ayana V. Jackson. What followed was Plastic Crowns, a series of self-portraits through which a strong narrative in a striking visual language is threaded. The series was exhibited at the Market Photo Workshop Gallery, Johannesburg; Palácio Cadaval, Évora; Paris Photo 2017, Paris; the Bamako Encounters Biennale of African Photography and Iziko National Gallery, Cape Town. Khanyile was the 2018 recipient of the CAP Prize for Contemporary African Photography.
Phumzile Khanyile, Plastic Crowns, 2016, 74 x 69 cm, Edition of 8. Courtesy AFRONOVA GALLERY