Ever since the arduous apartheid days, David Koloane has been actively providing spaces to black artists in South Africa as well as making the plight visible in his own works. His is a human quest: people are pivotal in the rich arena of his paintings, depicted by means of expressive strokes and a hint of surreal undertones.
Such is the case of The Night has a Thousand Eyes where fluorescent eyes emerge from the night scene as prophecies, seeing churchgoers find their way through the dark roads surrounded by stray dogs and the ominous presence of an owl under the full moon’s spell. Mongrels are a recurrent theme that David Koloane has explored to symbolize greed and political brutality, especially in his Mgodoyi Series of 1993. Fighting or simply scavenging around the city, the dogs are the ultimate signifiers of the blind forces of oppression.
Text © Gabriela Salgado