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          Nano Le Face - like secondhand smoke, 2024
          Artist Nano Le Face presents capsule collection on Basic.Space

          16 May 2024 (2 min) read

          Contemporary, Tshwane-based artist Nano Le Face introduces a hand-picked selection of framed works on Basic.Space, an exclusive digital marketplace hosting a curated blend of pre-owned and vintage items, as well as new, limited editions and brand collaborations.

          Nano's capsule collection of 19 works has just been made available on Basic.Space, a platform showcasing 500+ verified sellers comprising designers, artists, musicians, photographers, athletes, chefs and other creatives. The selection of Nano works includes four new pieces made in 2024.

          Click on this link to access Southern Guild's page to explore the works available, or browse via the app.

          Artist - Nano Le Face, 2023


          Born in 1999 in Tshwane under the given name Ntwanano Kutlo Shilubana, Nano's figurative works, reduced to flattened line and saccharine colour, present a sardonic reading of contemporary youth culture.

          He studied Film Arts at the Open Window Institute in Pretoria and at AFDA in Johannesburg before choosing to pursue fine art. Drawn to the immediacy of the medium of drawing, Nano works primarily in pencil, wax crayon and marker on paper and found materials, borrowing freely from popular culture, fashion photography, social media trends and ads for luxury brand.

          With restricted access to bought media at the start of the 2019 COVID pandemic, he began to work on found paper, utilising discarded packaging, the pages of old novels and used notepads. His engagement with online content, old women’s magazines and iconic film and literature has informed a distinctive use of text. Lifted phrases and aphorisms are reappropriated to become a mechanism for storytelling and barbed social comment.

          Each of the artist’s stand-alone works are signed with the initial ‘RM.’ The inscription is an adaptation of the common trademark ‘TM’, making intentional slight of copyright in an age of boundless digital access. The initialism simultaneously references Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain. The seminal 1917 work – a found porcelain urinal – was signed under the pseudonym ‘R. Mutt’.

          Nano’s practice navigates an intimate world largely occupied by his primary subjects of white women. This idolised, self-consumed white woman acts as a mythologised icon, a subject of fascination and adoration at the apex of popular media’s visibility. His female figures, though representative of a greater, complex sociological fixation, are individualised, prone to facetted longings, existential ruminations and aspirations. Nano’s prolific visual lexicon of Americanised iconography, parodic text and consumerist emblems present a self-reflexive reproduction of the zeitgeist.

          Nano Le Face spent a two-month period as an artist-in-residence at the GUILD Residency in Cape Town in 2023. The residency prompted a notable upscaling in his works, largely informing his first solo presentation with Southern Guild, Honey, I’m Not Doing So Well, which opened in October 2023.

          His work has appeared in numerous local exhibitions and fairs, including Turbine Art Fair and RMB Latitudes Art Fair.