Sindiso Nyoni interview
Thursdays mean the week is on a slippery downhill, and you’re in for another in our Spotlight On series of interviews. Today we’re proud to welcome a designer and illustrator whose work is as arresting as it is famous – we’re talking about a self developed artist whose work is up there with the best. It’s iconic stuff. Instantly recognisable. We’re talking high-end! Highly visible! World Cup stuff! Ad campaigns! Film posters! Mobile! Dior! Absolut! Telkom! Hewlett Packard! We’re also talking socially conscious. Unafraid to look issues in the eye. Ground level stuff that connects with everyone. Gritty. Arresting. Insightful. In a phrase, his work is subversive world-class African street art. He’s worked with Am I Collective, and is now with Black River FC. He mashes pencil, ink, pastels, gauche, acrylic and digital media into a fusion that’s all his own. Sound good? Wanna know more about Sindiso Nyoni a.k.a R!OT? Of course you do. Read on, dear reader, read on… SL: Did you study to become an artist/illustrator/designer? SN: I’m a self-taught artist, (been drawing since aged 4) but I studied Graphic Design for 4 years at the University of Johannesburg. SL: What’s your preferred medium, and why? SN: Pen & ink SL: What other designers or illustrators are influences on your work? SN: The arts and the various branches of creative activity have always been a love of mine, with early memories of comic book art, vintage animation and particularly film as influences. As a visual artist I have quite a few influences that cover many disciplines. I’m a big fan of Argentine illustrator Dr Alderete’s pop/poster art and also draw a lot of inspiration from legendary Black Panther artist Emory Douglas, and the late South African artists Thami Mnyele, and Dumile Feni. SL: Name two of your favourite artworks of all time. SN: Kehinde Wiley‘s portraits are some of the best I’ve seen in a long time, particularly his ‘Puma World Cup 2010′ series. I’m also a big fan of fellow Zimbabwean artist Kudzanai Chiurai‘s work, particularly his ‘State of the Nation’ collection. SL: What music are you listening to at the moment? SN: BIG FKN GUN - SA’s next big hip-hop act. And there you have it – what the words can’t convey, the images say loudly: R!OT’s work is in a class of its own, yet stands proudly amongst the best in class. You want more? Head on over to his Behance for an engrossing show of skill and range. Enjoy the interview? Check out Springleap’s other interviews in the Spotlight On series here.