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About The Artist

Artist Photo

Artist Biography

Collen was born in 17 January 1977 in a rural village called Noblehoek near Giyani Limpopo Province, South Africa. He comes from an artistic family. His father is a well-known sculptor.

His father, Johannes Maswanganyi, has participated in a number of exhibitions locally and internationally. He has two wives, his mother Annah makes beadworks, his other wife, Esther Maswanganyi, makes beads, clay-pots and embroidery and has exhibited in a number of exhibitions. His younger sister's and brothers are learning the skills mentioned above. His father was taught by his father, Piet Maswanganyi.

He started school at Haaka primary school in 1983. He passed his matric at two different schools namely Ndengeza high school in 1995 and N'wamavimbi high school in 1996. He did a Fine Arts Diploma at the Technicon Witwatersrand from 1996 to 1999.

After obtaining his diploma he worked as an full-time artist.

Just like his father, he works with wood. He paints most of his sculptures. He sometimes make life size sculptures. "My art is about the old and the new. I look at life generally where I make sculptures dressed in African and modern ways. I look at technological development. My mostly popular works involve people or couples speaking on phones or people dressed modestly."

His works are collected by private people, corporates, museums and galleries. His aim is to exhibit internationally just like his father and other sculptors from his region like Jackson Hlungwani, Noria Mabase and others.

Artist Statement


Maswanganyi's art incorporated issues relating to both the African traditions that he has been raised with and the modern world he lives in, While he also depicts the life of traditional Africans - their dressing, lifestyles and customs - he also contrasts this with Africans participating in the modern, hi-tech world. His work represents hardworking African people in the corporate sector. He also acknowledges the advantages of modern inventions and how they can impact on rural life in a positive way.

'Modern Man' and 'Modern Woman' tell the story of a modern African couple combining traditional African with modern living.

The mobile phone is used to represent the easiness of communication that can now be attained through this technology. Mobile phones have created a way of working miles from home but still being able to keep in touch with loved ones in the rural areas.

Artist CV

Selected Exhibitions:


  • Footsteps, Solo exhibition, Absa Gallery, Johannesburg


  • Engage, Association of Arts Pretoria
  • Absa L'Atelier, Absa Gallery, Johannesburg
  • Mandela at 94, Origins Centre (Wits University), Johannesburg
  • Re-Sampled, Absa Gallery, Johanneburg


  • Absa L'Atelier, Absa Gallery, Johannesburg
  • Design Self, Fried Contemporary Gallery, Pretoria
  • Measure of Sucess, Klein Karoo Art Festival (KKNK), Oudshoorn
  • Ekurhuleni Fine Arts Award


  • Absa L'Atelier, Absa Gallery, Johannesburg
  • Contmeporary Duets, Park Hyatt Hotel, Johannesburg
  • Collateral, Fried Contemporary Art Gallery, Pretoria

2009 :

  • Measure of Sucess, Two man show with Johannes Maswanganyi, Artspace Art Gallery, Johannesburg
  • The World Needs Us, Centro Luigi di Sarro, Rome, Italy


  • Group show, Development Bank of Southern Africa, Johannesburg
  • Visions with Bongi Bengu, Kizo Art Gallery, Durban
  • Youth Manifestation (Muvart Project), Maputo, Mozambique
  • Absa L'Atelier, Absa Gallery, Johannesburg
  • Centenary exhibition, Department of Visual Arts, University of Pretoria


  • Absa L'Atelier, Absa Gallery, Johannesburg
  • Group show, Karoo Art House, Pretoria
  • Sasol Miniature Exhibition, Sasol Headquarters, Johannesburg
  • Group show, Fried Contemporary Gallery, Pretoria
  • Rendezvous Sculpture Project, Paul Boulitreau House, Morningside, Johannesburg


  • Group exhibition, Salabarna Gallery, Barcelona, Spain
  • Absa L'Atelier, Absa Gallery, Johannesburg


  • Absa L'Atelier, Absa Gallery, Johannesburg
  • Art form Two Metropoles, Fried Contemporary Gallery, Pretoria
  • Maswanganyi Family, Fried Contemporary Gallery, Pretoria


  • Evidence. Art space fine art gallery Johannesburg
  • Identity, The Hague, Netherlands
  • Sa Artists, Gallery Mornea, Chicago, USA


  • SA art from 1845-2003, Graham fine art Gallery, Johannesburg.
  • Soul of Africa, Development Bank of Southern African, Johannesburg.


  • Artist in residence, Art of Africa Gallery, Lake district, Cumbria, England.
  • Absa L'Atelier, ABSA Gallery, Johannesburg.
  • WSSD, Fedsure house, Sandton, Johannesburg.
  • Rhythms of Africa, Mukondeni Art Gallery, Johannesburg.


  • ABSA Atelier, ABSA Gallery, Johannesburg.
  • Young artist from Elim area. UNISA, Pretoria.


  • Opening of Mr and Mrs Deliefde's house with artist Michael Mutsharine. Johannesburg
  • Final year student exhibition, Rembrandt Gallery, Johannesburg


  • Soul's perspective, UNISA, Pretoria
  • Another untitled exhibition with Keith and Johannes Maswanganyi (his father) (Johannesburg)


  • Gazankulu training trust (was a competition but was made an exhibition) Preparatory exhibition for Germany for Johannes Maswanganyi and Keith Alexander Johannesburg


  • 1998 Klein Karoo Kunstefees.
  • 2000 Africa meets Europe,Exhibition at BEELDEN AAN ZEE Museum. The Hague, Netherlands.
  • 2002 Visiting artist, art of Africa Gallery Columbia in Lake district, England
  • 2002 Columbia College of Art and Design.


  • Tzaneen Museum
  • Pretoria Art Museum
  • Gertrude Posel Gallery (Wits University)
  • Citibank
  • Sasol
  • Spier
  • 3M
  • Fortis Theatre, Holland
  • Johannesburg Art Bank
  • Rand Merchant Bank
  • Absa
  • Absa Cape Epic
  • Development Bank of Southern Africa
  • South African Parliament
  • University of Pretoria
  • National Library of South Africa
  • National Department of Tourism
  • Generations Soup Drama (Sabc 1)
  • University of Witswatersrand (West Campus)
  • Many private collections in South Africa and abroad.


Aartvark Prize
Beeld Plus's first Aartvark Prize for Innovative Work was awarded to Karin Hougaard in 1999.

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