We met up with Sanele "Picasso" Nyawo, a cheerful fine artist based in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, to find out more about his upbringing and his career as an artist. The first thing we must say about "Picasso" is that he loves to laugh! Chatting with him was such a fun experience because he is light-hearted, positive and can laugh at the smallest thing; what's there not to like about a person like that? He was nicknamed "Picasso" by friends he lived and studied with, and it has stuck til today.
Sanele grew up in a rural village in KwaZulu-Natal. He left home for Durban to pursue his dream of being an artist, but his parents didn't even know! As with many families, art isn't often regarded as a stellar career choice because it doesn't always guarantee a steady income, so he didn't tell them his plans. He's loved art from an early age, and expressed that there are many kids growing up in rural areas, like he did, who are talented and love art but are not exposed to different mediums and practical lessons because their schools do not have the funds to purchase resources and hire experienced art teachers. When asked what kind of assistance he thinks government should provide for artists, he didn't speak about his own needs, but expressed his wish for government to provide more art supplies and art teachers for kids in rural areas.
With regards to getting more exposure as an artist, Sanele said that galleries like the Durban Art Gallery, African Art Centre and the BAT Centre are great platforms for him to showcase their work, and is grateful for the opportunities they grant him and other artists. He just wishes that some of the galleries were in places where there's high traffic so that more people can be aware of them and take an interest in what they have to offer. With that said, he will be exhibiting at the BAT Centre in late July. If you'll be around Durban, be sure to support this lovely young gentleman!
For more information about Sanele's work and his upcoming exhibition, follow him on social media or drop him an email:
Facebook: Sanele Nyawo
Facebook page: Sanele Nyawo da artist
Instagram: Sanele Nyawo da artist