AFRICAN MIRROR REPORTER
FROM a small obscure town in South Africa to a major European city. From painting in a township shack in Sasolburg to a world-class exhibition Belgium.
That is the incredible inspirational journey of artist Ennock Mlangeni, famously known for painting celebrities such as Nelson Mandela, Winnie Mandela, Oprah Winfrey and DJ Black Coffee, has landed his first international solo exhibition.
Mlangeni’s first solo exhibition – “The Butterfly Finds its Wings” – opened on August 28 in Genk, Belgium at the Uitstalling Contemporary Art Gallery will run the exhibition until 4 October. And he sold two works on the opening night.
Once the exhibition opened, the self-taught Mlangeni was excited and emotional. “Yesterday was a dream come true, I never thought the response would be this positive. It brings me to tears seeing my works being appreciated internationally. Two works from the exhibition already sold on the opening night. YOU DON’T KNOW ME YET!!”
“It still feels like a dream…seeing these works being installed and being prepared takes me back a memory lane. I never thought that my first ever career solo exhibition as a visual artist would be an international one. From creating works in a shack to Belgium,” he said.
Raised, by his grandmother, Mlangeni lost both parents when he was 7 years-old. He said the exhibition is inspired by hope and the experiences that made him. He found his passion for art when he was in Grade 6, drawing comic characters. His big dream is to one day own his own art academy which could serve as a platform to groom and upcoming artists.
Three years ago, Mlangeni posted his work on social media platforms with a bold and cheeky headline: “You don’t know me yet…”
Now Belgium, Europe and the world will get to know the boy from Sasolburg who has matured into a world class visual artist.