Solly Manthata: The Winelands Art Gallery's Colorful Maestro
On the 31st of May in 1962, in the heart of Germiston, Solly Manthata took his first breath, cradled in the embrace of humble beginnings. His mother, a diligent domestic worker from the Eastern Cape, and his father, a mining clerk in Germiston, nurtured the young artist's earliest dreams.
In 1964, as the mines of Germiston closed their gates, the Manthata family embarked on a journey to Carletonville, where Solly, then only two years old, would carve his childhood memories. Alongside his three sisters and a brother, he navigated the dusty streets and pursued his early education in this mining town.
Yet, the year 1976 brought unrest to South Africa, and Solly's father decided to seek safer shores for their education, leading them to the tranquil landscapes of Limpopo. Surrounded by nature's splendor, Solly's affinity for art flourished, a passion that had taken root as early as age nine.
After completing his matriculation, Solly entered the mining industry, where he spent 22 dedicated years in the Human Resources department. Eventually, he ventured to Rustenburg to work for a new company. But deep within him, the call of his artistic spirit grew louder, and he decided it was time to heed its summons.
Solly Manthata, the first exclusive artist to grace the hallowed halls of The Winelands Art Gallery, embarked on a full-time artistic journey. His creations are a vivid tapestry, a symphony of colors that dance upon his canvas, with a particular fondness for painting the colorful farm landscapes that grace southern Africa.
With no formal art training, Solly's gift is a divine endowment, an unspoken poetry of colors and images. He draws inspiration from the great South African masters of old, such as Adriaan Boshoff, Errol Boyle, Chris Tugwell, George Pemba, and Gerard Sekoto. In his words, "Visual art is silent poetry of colors and images," a testament to the profound storytelling woven into each of his works.
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