Nicholas Hlobo


Not many people give as much thought to the Constitution as Nicholas Hlobo. In his work he pays homage to the freedoms the Constitution enshrines, using modern materials like rubber and soap to explore age-old traditions and taboos, from homosexuality and ethnicity to just about "anything that people find embarrassing in society � . Although his canvases draw on the South African experience, his themes of language and communication, racism and gender resonate with audiences around the world. In 2006 Hlobo won the prestigious Tollman Award for Visual Art. Two years later he held a solo exhibition, Uhambo, at the Tate Modern in London and showed at Boston's Institute of Contemporary Art as part of the Momentum series. Back home, this celebrated 2009 Standard Bank Young Artist continues to struggle with his belief that "ideas are important in making a well-resolved piece, rather than just making a piece with nothing behind it � . � Cat Pritchard

Lunch spot: Lucky Bean, Melville, Johannesburg