SAMSON MNISI, South Africa

Samson Mnisi in his studio

Samson Mnisi | The Rainmaker


Samson Mnisi also whose last name translates to “Rainmaker” was born in Lesotho, in 1971 He is a Soweto based artist, who studied fine art and photography at FUBA Academy. He has had numerous groups and solo exhibitions, locally and internationally.

He has collaborated with many artists around the world across various disciplines of art, and his works are in local and international collections.


Artist Statement


My work changes and evolves all the time,

I call it abstract because I am breaking form, and the ideas that I am trying to
express are abstract too, but my work is actually pure symbolism. My art talks about love, determination, and exuberance.
It is a ritual. My grandmothers are sangomas, hence I experienced a lot of rituals as a child and I studied a lot of rituals from
different parts of the world at the beginning of my career.
I believe that abstraction actually comes from Africa.
I made a point to study more about abstract art to see how I can take abstraction further, deeper.
Art is a ritual with a specific purpose. Art can be something that builds people, builds the spirit or it can be something that is
critical. My purpose is to built the spirit. My art wants to elevate the spirit onto another level. That is my quest.

Art for sale online



Up Close


He uses patterns, lines, symbols and color to find to create his very unique expression expression. He sees himself as part of the timeless tradition of celebrating the human godliness from the first rock painting, to the present time and beyond. He is interested in using art as an element of alchemy. Where through it you can evoke or even heal emotions.

In my work I am finding a new interpretation for an old language.

Because of our colonial history, we have struggled to interpret ourselves even in post-colonial times. Can the mind be decolonised ? It is in pre-colonial times that we can really find the true reflection of ourselves. But those moments are far gone, and  in most cases look like mambo jumbo because of the nature of the colonial education. The purpose of art making in that historical context, reflected the religion, culture and philosophy of that time. I therefore believe that by honestly looking at our history in totality pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial times, we can truly understand where we are,  and how we should relate to the world and the future.”


Selected Exhibitions | 2000 to 2020


2020 | Painterly Print, group show, ODA & LITTY contemporary
2019 | Secret Garden, ODA Gallery, Franschhoek, South Africa
2019 | ART Madrid, art fair, Spain
2018 | group exhibition, Turbine Art Fair, Johannesburg, South Africa
2018 | group exhibition, ABSA Bank, Johannesburg, South Africa
2018 | solo exhibition, ‘The Venus Ritual’, ODA Gallery, Franschhoek, South Africa
2017 | group exhibition, Gallery 2, Johannesburg, South Africa
2017 | group exhibition, “Magiciens d’Afrique’, ODA Gallery, Franschhoek, South Africa
2016 | 2 men show with Cannon Hersey, ‘Keeping Dreams’, SoMa Art Space, Johannesburg, SA
2016 | group exhibition, Hazard Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
2015 | group exhibition, Clifton Boulder Gallery, Amsterdam, Netherlands
2015 | group exhibition, ‘Protest’, Hazard Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
2014 | group exhibition, ‘20 years of Freedom’. KulturAxe, Vienna, Austria
2014 | group exhibition, Kampala Art Biennale, Uganda
2014 | 2 men exhibition with Zolile Phetsane, ‘Indigenous Calculus’, Lizamore & Associates, Johannesburg, SA
2014 | 2 men exhibition with Ben Nsusha, ‘Colour In Geometrics’, Imba Ya Sarai, Johannesburg, SA
2013 | group exhibition, ‘Back to the Future’, SMAC Gallery, Stellenbosch, South Africa
2012 | 2 men show with Cannon Hersey, ‘A Home Away From Home’, Imagenation, New York, USA
2012 | 2 men show with Thomas Ngulube, Thomarts Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
2011 | solo exhibition, ‘Momentum Rituals’, Worldart Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
2010 | group exhibition, ‘The Eleven Football And Art’, Commerzbank, Johannesburg, South Africa
2010 | Austin Museum of Art, USA
2009 | MoCADA – Museum of Contemporary African Arts, New York, USA
2008 | Sao Paolo Biennale, Brazil
2007 | solo exhibition, ‘Rituals Past And Present’, Line Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
2007 | group exhibition, ‘Double 07’, Polokwane Art Museum, South Africa
2006 | solo exhibition, ‘Dreaming White City’, Salomon Arts Gallery, New York, USA
2006 | solo exhibition, ‘Rain Dance’, Pretoria Gallery, South Africa
2005 | solo exhibition, Everard Read Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
2004 | group exhibition, ‘The Famous 5’, Pietersburg, South Africa
2003 | solo exhibition, ‘Streetlife’, Museum Africa, Johannesburg, South Africa
2003 | ‘Paper For Paper 2’, Sundharam Tagore Gallery, New York, USA
2002 | ‘Paper For Paper’, presented by CrossPathCulture, New York, USA
2002 | solo exhibition, ‘Atmosphere’, Sundharam, New York, USA
2002 | 2 men show with Wayne Barker, ‘Gurus And Lovers’. CACBN, Herouville-Saint Claire, France
2001 | solo exhibition, ‘Hot Caviar Dogs’, Chashama Theatre, New York, USA
2000 | 2 men show, Museum of African Art, New York, USA


Video | interview 2017