Photo of Xolile Mtakatya

Xolile Mtakatya

b. Cape Town, 1968

Xolile Mtakatya’s works capture the cacophonic, quasi- apocalyptic everyday of the township in its tactile and sensory glory.

Arts Education

1993 Diploma in Fine Art, Foundation School of Art, Observatory, Cape Town
1987-89 Part-time student at Community Arts Project

Exhibitions (solo)

2005 Episodes, Association for Visual Arts, Cape Town
1993 Diploma show, Foundation School of Art, Observatory, Cape Town.

Exhibitions (group)

2010 Creative Block: 150 artists, AVA, Cape Town. Embassy of Spain, Bishopscourt, Cape Town.
2010 1910-2010 From Pierneef to Gugulective, Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town
2009 Art from Southern Africa, Anglican Aids and Healthcare Trust, Kenilworth, Cape Town. Isibane, Lookout Hill, Khayelitsha, Cape Town. Winter Solistice, Cape Gallery, Cape

2008 Desire, Cape Gallery, Cape Town. 16th Annual Salon, Rose Korber Art, Camps Bay, Cape Town.
2007 Why Collect, ISANG, Cape Town. ReCenter, Lookout Hill, Khayelitsha. & Beyond Encryption, Cape Gallery, Cape Town
2005 Botaki: Exhibition 4, Old Mutual Asset Managers, Pinelands, Cape Town
2005 Finding You, AVA.
2005 14th Annual Salon, Rose Korber Art, Camps Bay, Cape Town
2004 Assemblage, The affordable Art Show, Batttersea, England.
2004 The ID of South African Artists, Fortis Circustheater, Scheveningen, Netherlands.
2003 Trilogy: Innocence, Awakening and Fulfillment, Sanlam Gallery, Bellville, Cape Town
2001 Cats, Rose Art Consultancy, Artscape, Cape Town
2000 Itheko lokuza nethemba elitsha (A Celebration for Bringing New Hope), Bell-Roberts Art Gallery, Cape Town
1999 AVA (with Lundi Mduba). Conflux, Tendances Mikado Gallery, Luxemburg
1998 Art Beyond Borders, (with Beezy Baily, Robert Slingsby, Paul du Toit and Gail Catlin) City Hall, Augsburg, Germany.
1997 Trans Figurative, AVA.
1995 Siyawela: Love, Loss and Liberation in South African Art, Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, Birmingham, UK
1993 Manyano, Museo Etnografico Azul, Argentina.
1991 Visual Arts Group Travelling Exhibition, Centre for African Studies, UCT, Cape Town
1990-1991 Art from South Africa, Museum of Modern Art, Oxford; Mead Gallery, University of Warwick; Aberdeen City Art Gallery; Royal Festival Hall, London; Angel Row Gallery, Nottingham; Bolton Art Gallery, Lancashire
1988 End Conscription Campaign, Michealis School of Art, UCT, Cape Town
1987 Community Arts Project, Woodstock, Cape Town
1986 Eye of an Artist, St. Gabriels Catholic Church, Gugulethu.

Workshops & Residencies

2005 Thupelo International Workshop, AMAC, Cape Town.
2001 Residency at Caversham Press, KwaZulu-Natal
2000 Thupelo International Workshop, Goedgedacht Centre, Malmesbury.
2000 Mural Global Agenda 21 under UNESCO, (with Werner Rappaport) Hagen; (with Uta Goebel-Gross and Werner Rappaport) Aachen, Germany.
1999 Thapong International Artists Workshop, Gaberone, Botswana. Mural Global Agenda 21 (UNESCO), Essen; mural painting on a truck, Arte-Mobile, Osnabruck, Germany.


Iziko South African National Gallery
Old Mutual, Cape Town
SMAC Gallery, StellenboschNandos, London
Mayibuye Centre, UWC
Numerous private collections in South Africa, Netherlands, Germany and USA.


2009 Cape Times, May 21.2008: SA Art Times, issue 11 vol. 3, November
2006 Mario Pissarra, Botaki Exhibition 4: Conversations with Tyrone Appollis, Old Mutual Asset Managers, Cape Town (exhibition catalogue).
2004 J Van den Ende & S Khan (eds), Identity: The ID of South African Artists, Stichting Art & Theatre, Amsterdam. Mario Pissarra, Botaki: Conversations with Timothy Mafenuka, OMAM, Cape Town (exhibition catalogue).
1999 Project Conflux, AVA, Cape Town (exhibition catalogue)
1990 E David, Art from South Africa, Museum of Modern Art, Oxford


A former youth activist, Mtakatya began drawing on the walls while a political detainee (1986). In the late 80s/ early 90s he ran art and media workshops in his community, and

taught screen-printing to unemployed mothers (Philani Project). He also ran media training workshops for the ANC; and was an active member of the Visual Arts Group (1988-1993).