by Mario Pissarra
This text was originally published on Phala’s page on asai.co.za, October 2005. A slightly edited version of this review appeared in Art South Africa, 2005.
For many years Madi Phala put most of his creative energies into mentoring others. Last year’s move south to Cape Town has coincided with him stepping out as an artist in his own right. Recent shows in Cape Town and Johannesburg have been well received by the buying public. His emerging profile is matched by a successful transition from small and modestly sized works to a much bolder scale, and in the increased physicality of his new works.