CityLife Arts

Visual artist Kutlwano Moagi who paints to heal himself has an exhibition in Johannesburg CBD

By Edward Tsumele

The space itself is in a nonedescript building  at No. 66 Simmons Street, Johannesburg CBD. A group of young creatives have turned this place into a vibrant arts hub that sees events such as poetry performances, album launches and exhibitions take place regularly. They are doing it on their own without funding, but would appreciate any support from those with the means to do so.

The young people behind this innovative concept call themselves Kollective Lab. During the week, the space on the first floor of this building operates as a shop where designers hire the space for R30 a day to exhibit their new designs, and when I went there on Monday, September 6, 2021, I found really great designs in a form of T-shirts on display while room’s walls carried visual artist Kutlwano Moagi’s exhibition of paintings entitled Spontaneous Intervention.

These beautiful and reasonably priced art works, mainly geometric forms that are abstract, were created by the artist in the past four years. In fact Spontaneous Intervention is his first so exhibition. But Moagi has been working  as a photographer for years now, and turned into painting four years ago.

“At the time I was not in a good space, for example, I abused alcohol due to boredom. Then artist Ayanda Mabulu just said to me: Why don’t you paint instead, and that is how I started. Ayanda motivated me a lot because here was someone who was from Cape Town, and he had come to Johannesburg, and in no time he had found himself studio space at the Bag Factory from where he worked. That motivated me a lot,” said Moagi.

Besides photography, Moagi is also well known for his murals around Johannesburg.

“I would not call what I do graffiti, but rather streets art,” he said.

Moagi has been part of the artists that occupied the National Arts Council in Newtown for 60 days complaining of lack of  adequate support for creatives  in the country. Moagi has a long history of group exhibitions even though this one is his first solo exhibition. 

Kutlwano Moagi Born 1983, Soweto Johannesburg. Lives and works in Johannesburg South Africa


2006 Market Photo Workshop, Johannesburg SOLO EXHIBITION

2012 Split Facades, Goetheon Main, Johanneburg


2015 Home truths, Sanlam Gallery, Cape Town

2015 Home truths, South African national gallery, Cape Town

2014 Living just enough, Brundyn+, Cape Town

2013 Stay, Ithuba Arts Gallery, Johannesburg

2013 In Thokoza, Ithuba Arts Gallery, Johannesburg

2011 4th Africa Film Festival of Tarifa, Spain

2010 Reportage Atri Festival, Italy

2010 Bonani Africa Festival of Photography, Cape Town

2010 Not Just Divas, City Hall, Courtesy of Moshito Music Conference and

Exhibition, Cape Town

2006 Seeing Women, Maputo PhotoFesta, Mozambique

2007 Gwanza Month of Photopgraphy, Zimbabwe

2007 Lost and Found, Market Photo Workshop and Wits School of Arts

Kutlwano Moagi was born in 1983 Soweto, Johannesburg. He completed a

photography learnership programme at the Market Photo Workshop,

Johannesburg, in 2006. Moagi has participated in numerous group

exhibitions and festivals locally and internationally. These include Stay and

In Thokoza at Ithuba Arts Gallery in 2013 as well as participation in the

Reportage Atri Festival in Italy 2010 and the Gwanza Month of

Photography in Harare, Zimbabwe in 2007. His first solo exhibition, Split

Facades, was exhibited in 2012 at GoetheonMain, Johannesburg.

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