Zwelethu Mthethwa, a South African photographer featured yesterday in the New York Times, describes how he uses color as a "dignifying vehicle" for the people of South Africa, eschewing the tradition of black and white photography and its ties to the country's apartheid past. Of course, South Africa is still full of paradox and complexity, all of which seems to be portrayed through the coupling of painterly colors and pattern with the necessities of daily life. His work sounds raw and true, poignant in a way that only South Africans seem to convey. Take a look at one of his pieces here, and check out the rest at Studio Museum in Harlem, 144 W. 125th Street. I know it will be at the top of my to-visit list when I return to the East Coast.
Read more about Mthethwa here.