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Meet Lethabo Huma, A South African Digital Artist Blazing A Trail Locally And Internationally

  • 5 min read

Lethabo Huma is a 23 year old female digital artist born in South Africa, who’s currently blazing a trail in the NFT space for herself locally and internationally. The main theme of her art is centered around her emotional responses, thoughts and experiences as a young African woman. While she explores various media in pursuit of more precise methods of communication, Huma is best known for her born-digital work: “I create digital paintings and illustrations but still follow traditional painting and drawing techniques in order to achieve expressive brushwork textures. I always strive to improve how I translate my emotions and the stories I share through my selection of muses and brushwork.”

  1. Tell us more about your art pieces and what they represent?

My Art communicates a visual story of my mental and emotional responses to life experiences, I use art to express a message to the world that others can relate to or gain a different perspective on, most of them represent the experiences of being a black woman in the world.

2.) Tell us about your Sothebys and Christies Auction?

When I was presented with the opportunity to have my art auctioned in 2 of the biggest auction houses in the world, I was extremely excited and they were a week apart, which is a major milestone in my career. The Sothebys auction was titled Natively Digital, it was a curated group exhibition that was focused on exhibiting the earliest and the latest digital art, it was to showcase the innovation that’s been happening in the digital/NFT art world. The piece I had auctioned is titled “The Self”, it conveys a message of being in a reflective state and looking at yourself as an observer from parts you can’t see of yourself like your back unless you have a mirror, it sold for $10 080.

The Christies auction: “Proof of Sovereignty” was also a group exhibition curated by Lady Phoenix. The theme was to present a curated sale of both legacy and newly created artwork as unique NFTs

The piece I auctioned is titled “Gogo and Me” This piece pays homage to the role a of a grandmother in the life of a grandchild. It reflects on the closeness of our relationship and the motherly role she took onto my life, it sold for $12 500.

3.) What are some of the challenges that you face as a young female artist?

Being undervalued just because you are a woman, is a regular occurrence in the art world, specifically black women. There is still a huge gap between how much women earn in comparison to men, it’s no different in both traditional and digital art space.

4.) What are your ambitions for Africa using art

It’s to show that there’s value in digital art, and it’s going to be right on par with traditional art in the future thanks to new technology that helps verify scarcity, and I’d like to help and show digital artists that there’s value in this work and that’s by introducing them to the NFT space, it’s helped so many African digital artists so far, they are able to earn a living by doing what used to be extremely undervalued, by being digital artists, I believe we haven’t  even scratched the surface of the potential it offers.

5.) How can the use of your art be used to express emotion?

Relatability & reliving moments. It’s important for me to use my talent to express important moments in a black woman/girls life, which normally in society is often erased or not considered.

6.) Where do you sell your pieces from?

They sold on a digital art marketplace called SUPERRARE, also will be selling in coming auction houses this month.

7.) Currently what would you say are the most pressing topics in South Africa?

As a woman, it’s Gender Based Violence. We are living in constant fear and we are always worried about our safety. We go missing, we are violated DAILY. I wish we were protected more, wish we didn’t have to look over shoulder’s constantly, while even do the most basic stuff like groceries at the mall.

8.) What are some of your experiences as a young African woman?

Constant racism and objectification.

9.) Your work is recognized mostly from international prospects, where and what do you think the gap is in South Africa?

Access to finances and Technology, many people in South Africa love art but simply can’t afford it. Another gap, especially for those who aspire to be digital artist, is the lack of technology. I mainly work digitally and have virtual exhibitions so most of my work requires data and a smartphone to be viewed, and we know how expensive those are for ordinary South African.

10.) Tell us about some cool partnerships or brands that you have worked with before? –

Afropunk on an article feature, Yogisip as part of the top 15 creatives, design indaba as one of the 2021 emerging creatives , worked on live illustrations at Archive in mall of Africa.

11.) Tell us about your involvement in the UnitLondon: NFTism: No Fear in trying Exhibition as an artist?

UnitLondon’s ‘NFTism: No Fear in Trying’ exhibition is a major NFT show in the UK, which is curated by renowned curater Kenny Schachter, I’ve longed dreamed to do something with UnitLondon and when the opportunity came, I jumped right for it, I’m showcasing alongside 100 International artist’s such as IX SHELLS & Rewind Collective, who’s work I love.

The piece I am exhibiting is a self-portrait titled Monday Morning, it’s centered around the mental exhaustion one experiences from being in long periods of uncertainty.