Fashion Practitioner and interdisciplinary artist, Lesiba Mabitsela was born in Pretoria, Gauteng in 1987. In 1991 he would come to call Noordwyk - one of South Africa’s first mixed-race suburbs – in the north of Johannesburg home. To Mabitsela is based in Cape Town, South Africa where he continues to pursue creative interventions that trouble the spaces between fashion, design, visual and public art.
Mabitsela incorporates costume, video, photography and performance into his work, using his background in fashion design to explore notions of Cultural Capital found in the relationship between post-Colonial perceptions of ‘blackness’, gender, religion and symbolic underpinnings of Western beauty and aesthetics.
Mabitsela has an interest in the construction of clothing and the use of clothing as a tool for political resistance and as a critique of the current landscape in contemporary fashion, and the politics in constructing identities. In Mabitsela’s work, the garment becomes an extension of one’s lineage - communicating one’s history, culture, social hierarchy and aspirations whilst the gaze becomes the tool in which we receive those hidden messages.
Mabitsela is a former recipient of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation scholarship contributing to the completion of his studies at the University of Cape Town’s Drama Department within the Faculty of Humanities. He was part of a cohort whose practice was guided by the multidisciplinary studies offered under the auspices of the Institute for Creative Arts (formerly known as GIPCA) and is currently a Research Assistant at Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa.
M: +27 76 728 5867