Samantha Maseko

Samantha Maseko is an Artist Proof Studio graduate whose work wrestles with themes of black femininity. 

“At the end of the day, black bodies are political…” – Amy Sherald

Her works embody the African American painter’s words, as she unearths and challenges aspects of blackness clothed in the female form - whether by interrogating hair, colourism or the sexualisation of the black body.

Maseko’s practice oscillates between the mediums of printmaking, mixed media and painting to communicate her chosen message. There is a single constant present throughout her many themes and mediums, and that is a need to present blackness as aesthetically pleasing. This desire to bind representations of the black figure is no doubt a result of her love for fashion.

While a piece such as Optical Façade I appears to be interrogating the duality of emotions attached to natural hair in the black community, alluded to in the depictions of a polarised mirroring of herself wearing a head wrap and with an afro. Even within the palpable uncertainty that exists in these works, Maseko binds elements of beauty to her representations of blackness.