08 Apr Creatives Worth Checking Out: Modise Sepeng Embraces African Heritage & Culture Through Illustration
Modise Sepeng is a Johannesburg-based multidisciplinary artist well-known for his Nubian art, African prints and portraits of African faces with an urban contemporary appeal. Sepeng’s work reflects on South Africa’s transitional process and highlights the need to create an identity of our own through our heritage.
The Alexandra-born graphic designer and illustrator skillfully embodies black experiences and uses visual communication to boast, glorify and express his blackness and culture.
“In 2010, I took a conscious decision to be heavily inspired by what it means to be black and African, I felt there was a lack of representation of who I am when I’m searching for inspiration online in the design industry,” he shares.
“I wanted to create work that I would be proud of seeing and work that would embody shared black experiences. My work communicates the beauty that exists within our cultures and heritage.”
Sepeng’s melanin infused artistic style – known as Art Nouveau, is heavily inspired by African heritage and African spirituality, such as the Bungoma – ancestral calling. He shares that he is obsessed with Bantu writing symbols, which is evident in his work.
Along with African heritage, culture and spirituality, Sepeng includes Takashi Okazaki, Shepard Fairey and Takashi Murakami as some of his artistic influences.