South African artist blends found objects, sculptures and paintings in magical realist pieces

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Simphiwe Ndzube, “In the Land of the Blind the One Eyed Man is King?” (2019) in “Where Water Comes Together With Other Water,” The 15th Lyon Biennale, Lyon, France, Installation View. Courtesy of the artist and Nicodim Gallery.

South African artist Simphiwe Ndzube’s new exhibition at Nicodim Gallery in downtown Los Angeles opens on February 13. The show is titled “Like the Snake that Fed the Chameleon.” 

Regular KCRW contributor Lindsay Preston Zappas says Ndzube reimagines Black bodies as mythical beings capable of inhabiting multiple dimensions. His pieces tend to blend found objects, paintings, sculptures, and textiles in vibrant colors. 


Simphiwe Ndzube, “Journey to Asazi” (2019) in “Where Water Comes Together With Other Water,” The 15th Lyon Biennale, Lyon, France, Installation View. Courtesy of the artist and Nicodim Gallery.


Simphiwe Ndzube, “Bhekizwe, The Alligator Rider” (2020). Acrylic, collage, duct tape, and fabric on canvas. 59 x 102.25 x 2.5 in. Collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Courtesy of the artist and Nicodim Gallery.


Simphiwe Ndzube, “In the Order of Elephants After the Rain,” Installation View, 2019. Galeria Nicodim, Bucharest. Courtesy of the artist and Nicodim Gallery.