Giggs Kgole

‘Kgole’s travels allowed him to realize the extent to which South African stories are untold to the world outside.’

At just 22 years old, Giggs Kgole has clearly fashioned his unique and intriguing style which has captured the attention across South Africa and France. Kgole was born in 1997 in the small village of Kuputu in the Limpopo province in South Africa.

Kgole’s work is typified by his use of anaglyphs, whereby two versions of his composite photographic images are printed in different colours (typically blue and red) onto canvas. He then applies collage and paint to the printed work. To best view the paintings one must view the works through 3D glasses with a red and blue filter as lenses, creating a dynamic 3D effect. The glasses play the role of enhancing the viewer’s experience and relationship to the work, as it helps you interact with the work at a more intimate level.

In 2013, he was part of a student exchange program with Glenalmond College in Scotland. His trip opened his eyes to the breadth of the global community, but also allowed him to appreciate his African heritage from a different perspective. It allowed him to realize the extent to which South African stories are untold to the world outside. It instilled within him a desire to tell these stories through his art, conveying the vibrancy and complexity of life in his home country.

In 2016 he was fortunate to be mentored by William Kentridge. Kgole says that this has allowed him to express himself creatively and has guided him through the workings of this industry. He appreciates the guidance he has received from prominent artists like Bon Chandiyamba, Blessing Ngobeni and Ayanda Mabulu, yet is intent on staying true to his identity and style.

In 2017, a year after Kgole’s first ever exhibition, he received a Prestigious Presidential Scholarship to study in Rome at John Cabot University, where he had his first solo showcase in Europe titled « Before the High Walls ». 2018 marked a new feet for Kgole as he became the one of Africa’s youngest gallery owners at the age of 21. GasLamp Gallery, located in Johannesburg, South Africa is a contemporary art space for creatives all over Africa.

In 2019, Giggs Kgole spent six months in France as the 1st Laureate of the the Undiscovered Canvas Art Residency created by Nomaza Nongqunga Coupez in the south of France. Undiscovered Canvas also organized 2 solo exhibitions in Cannes and 1 solo exhibition in London.  Kgole had the opportunity to realize his dream of producing his 1st ceramic collection in Vallauris, where he collaborated with two great French ceramists, Chris Krainik Bellenge and Serge Dos Santos. During the residency, Giggs Kgole was selected by Mail & Guardian as one of the 200 Young South Africans breaking barriers and he is also a finalist for Young Master’s Prize 2019 organized by The Cynthia Corbett Gallery in the UK. Giggs Kgole is currently back in Rome to continue with his art studies.