Thabo Pitso – ARP Prize 2017

Thabo Pitso (1982, Mabopane) studied Fine Arts at Tshwane/Pretoria University of Technology and received a B-Tech degree in 2010. The Emperor’s New Clothes (sculptural installation mixed media, 2015) comments on the plight of South Africa’s textile workers. The work seeks to represent the journey of those who have been affected by the collapse of the textile industry, especially in the Western Cape. The suitcase containing burnt clothes and shoes speaks of the closed down factories and how many of the workers were forced to pack their bags and return to their homes. Utilizing assemblages of found objects to construct sculptural installations, Pitso’s work deconstructs the social and personal meaning of ob-jects and explores the way people create sentimental relationships with mass produced products. Working in a variety of other media including film, photography and drawing, Pitso examines various forms of propaganda and how we are affected by social conditioning. Pitso has been featured in a number of group exhibitions including ‘Ifalethu’ shown at the Pretoria Art Museum, Johannes-burg Art Gallery and Springs Art Gallery from 2007 to 2008. Pitso was selected as a finalist ABSA L’Atelier Award in 2010.

The Emperor’s New Clothes’ Thabo Pitso – ARP 2017 winning artwork