Mashile was born in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga. He studied at the Johannesburg Art Foundation in 2004 and obtained his BA (Fine Arts) in 1999 from the University of the Witwatersrand. He currently lives and works in Johannesburg.
Customs such as the ritual of circumcision (which both he and his wife have undergone) informed Mashile’s earliest work as he sought refuge and healing through art. His work is infused with the natural and mystical elements that have become part of his environment where he can “feel and experience my Africanness, let emotions come through and discover the truth about myself”.
Mashile has an uncanny ability to tune into universal psychological archetypes in his work. These images are completely based in his African identity and yet they link up with the universal.
“I come from a place that is shrouded by powerful cultural norms and customs. My use of symbols and icons shows the truth about the land and its people and thus my existence in South Africa.”
|Wayne Cahill Barker||Gerhard Harald Batha||Walter Whall Battiss||Deborah Margaret Bell||Bongi Bengu||Willie Bester|
|Peter John Bonney||Willem Hendrik Adriaan Boshoff||Mbongeni Richman Buthelezi||Norman Catherine||Erika Hibbert||Phillemon Hlungwani|
|Robert Griffiths Hodgins||William Kentridge||John Kramer||Speelman Mahlangu||Colbert Mashile||Clare Menck|
|John Mark Moore||Zwelethu Mthethwa and Sam Nhlengethwa||Olbie Olberholzer||Walter Oltmann||Milwa Mnyaluza George Pemba||Uwe Pfaff|