Painting to communicate possibilities in life


“For me being an artist has made me to find myself. It has made me to be real with myself, to understand what life is and its hardships. It has furthermore helped me to understand other people’s stories. ”

When one looks at Greatjoy Ndlovu’s paintings, one is taken to a journey that this young painter wants them to be part of. His body of work revolves around emotions and expressions, this it is noticeable through the artworks he has produced.

Ndlovu is a Johannesburg based painter and post contemporary-expressionist. In his work, he focuses on a dripping technique. He manipulates the white canvas by washing it directly with paint at the same time creating an image that he has already composed.
“It’s all about direction and finding my momentum through the process. Again before everything, it starts
with an idea,” he says.“my subject matter is about emotion and expression. I go on with colour and I manipulate my background with different colours of my choice.”
When talking about the way he paints Ndlovu says everything he does has a significant role to play in the end image.
“My brush strokes and the swells represent the possibilities in life. They also represent passion, anger and love,” he says “most of the time passion and love they go simultaneously.”
Ndlovu further says, “I usually find my grip and momentum whilst I am working.”
Ndlovu believes when creating art, one has to be true to themselves and convey their message precisely.
He further explains, “I’m always making reference with my past experiences and also with what is currently happening around me at a certain time.”


“It’s all about me expressing and capturing the moment or a feeling at a certain time, this is why in most of my paintings I use colours like red, dark greys and monochromes because I want to capture the soul, the moment and the idea of expressing myself,” says Ndlovu.

Ndlovu expresses, that some of the colours he uses in his body of artwork represent his childhood memories and experiences. He applies abstract realism and draws inspiration from socioeconomic influences.
Recently the talented painter has been receiving unpleasant comments stating that his work is dark yet he is so young, however, Ndlovu says, “It is an artist’s duty to capture what is real and not to sugarcoat things.”

“Who is happy in Johannesburg, who is happy in South Africa right now? At the same time we live in Johannesburg, this place is all about the struggle, people looking for opportunities, greener pastures.”


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