#instagood #nofilter #instamood

A member of the “born-free generation,” Dada Khanyisa creates a range of works—from sneakers and graphic art to paintings—intimately connected to South African politics and popular culture. Dada self-identifies as gender nonconforming and has also produced work under the name The Mighty Whale.
In AMA #WCW, six young women are at a nightclub or restaurant enjoying cocktails, cigarettes, and chicken. But, most importantly, almost everyone is within arm’s reach of their smartphones. Three women are taking selfies; three other phones are actually embedded on the surface of the table, adding to the sculptural depth of a painting overflowing with hair extensions, jewelry, and fabric appended to its surface. An isiZulu caption (Vusa phela’ babes, or “Wake up, babes”) sits in the foreground. One woman has even been “tagged,” Instagram-style.
The painting indeed takes on the look of an Instagram post—even as further posts are likely being framed and composed on other smartphones at the very moment the painting depicts. Its title recalls multiple acronyms regularly used on social media—“#AMA,” or “ask me anything,” and “#WCW” or “Woman Crush Wednesday.”


  • Title: AMA #WCW
  • Creator: Dada Khanyisa
  • Date Created: 2017
  • Location Created: b. 1991, Umzimkhulu, KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa, Works in Cape Town, South Africa

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