Lehlogonolo Mashaba was born in Kwa-Thema, Johannesburg, in 1983.He began his art education at the Funda Center in 2003. He later enrolled at the Artist Proof Studios where he obtained a certificate in design and printmaking in 2004.
In addition to creating his own work, Mashaba is a former collaborative printer specializing in intaglio, relief, monotype and silkscreen at Artist Proof Studio. In this post, he assisted in printing works for established artists, such as Marcus Neustetter and Sandile Goje. Mashaba has participated in numerous group exhibitions in South Africa, France, and United States of America. His work has been part of the Artists Proof Studios booth at the Johannesburg Art Fair since its inception in 2008.
Mashaba has been involved in a number of art residencies, which include the Rendezvous Art Project in France and the Artists Image Resource in America. He was invited in 2008 by the David Krut Workshop and Art Bank to participate in a printmaking workshop with five other artists, including Vincent Baloyi. Mashaba’s public artwork includes a painting which he did for Pick n Pay at Maponya Mall, Soweto. This painting was later enlarged and placed on a billboard in the streets of Soweto.
Mashaba was the winner of the Standard Bank Grahamstowm Festival’s Picasso in Africa Mural Competition in 2006.
Lehlogonolo Mashaba’s work is centered on text. One of the running motifs in Mashaba’s work is his continuous use of cell phone texts. He uses texts from people’s text (sms) messages.
“I have always felt learning has been laboursome and slow process to grasp on hence I use text to construct/deconstruct my figures(myself). In that case I combine different information and words from different texts source most especially the Bible as it is to me the ultimate source of knowledge yet the most ambiguous. I swop around the body and text, having text on the body and using text to create bodies\figures”. Mashaba not only draws from his personal archive, he also draws influence from the media by extracting texts from newspaper articles. My artwork plays on the tools of communication merging imagery and text. The interest in theology, technology, books/reading, and Biology set a base for my art making process. He acknowledges that, “We as human beings are a product of what we eat (food/words) “
His work concentrates on the indeterminate. In life you cannot really define things completely. By using as many lines as possible while encrypting text in the mix, the work becomes heavily blurred The more layered the text, the more incomprehensive it is. This is reminiscent of the fact that we can’t really establish the original conception of human kind, except if we read about it. In this context that is where the noise comes in. “With the Origins artworks I attempted to metaphorically capture that process in words and motion” by metaphorically capturing the natural selection (evolution) process. With the Noise series he attempts to show strength of small structures through laboursome drawing process.