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South African Artist Creates Masterpieces By Painting With Plastic

August 24, 2015 at 10:11 am | Lifestyle

Abena Agyeman-Fisher

Abena Agyeman-Fisher | Editor-in-chief, F2FA

August 24, 2015 at 10:11 am | Lifestyle

Mbongeni Buthelezi's Art
Mbongeni Buthelezi

Mbongeni Buthelezi stands before his self portrait.

South African artist Mbongeni Buthelezi (pictured) is pioneering a unique art form that he calls “plastic fantastic.” See his beautiful creations below.

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When Buthelezi isn’t in his Johannesburg-based art studio creating ornate portraits, he is scouring the streets looking for colored plastics.

In studio, Buthelezi melts the plastic with a heat gun on to a plastic canvas in order to create his masterpieces.

Buthelezi came up with his plastic technique due to his decision to employ recyclables in his pieces rather than invest in expensive materials.

“Good art doesn’t always come from expensive materials…you [don’t] need to have a lot of money to achieve your dream,” Buthelezi says.

And Buthelezi has made quite a splash with his highly textured and detailed works.

See them below:

In addition to enhancing the arts scene of Jo’burg, art has given Buthelezi both an outlet and purpose.

“I literally constructed my life from nothing, nothing in the sense that I go out there, collect plastics, bring them back in to my studio, and do something about it.

“Art is so important in my life in so many ways. This is the only way I express my feelings.”

Ultimately, Buthelezi’s hope — as with any true artist — is that his work makes an impact.

“If I say that an artist is the mirror of any society, where he or she finds himself in, in my case…I wouldn’t like to die without making a meaningful impact in the society.”

Watch Buthelezi create his masterpieces here:

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