Keya Tama is a South African artist based in the United States, between Los Angeles and New York. Inspired by pastel colour palettes, pattern, and symbolism, Keya Tama has been a practicing artist and muralist since the age of thirteen. His style can be describe as ancient contemporary minimalism; by processing and refining images into minimalistic forms while maintaining their essence, his works aim to reunite old and new through contrasting yet unified iconography. The artist uses visuality from the storehouse of art history and references and remixes their recurring themes to create stark contrasts and discover unexpected commonalities which produce unusual, arresting, yet strangely familiar works. Working primarily in acrylics to create his pieces, there is a strong graphic feel to each piece. This highly individual style naturally lends itself to collaborations with other makers and craftspeople such as embroiderers and weavers. Across the artist’s practice, there are recurring themes of contrasting ancient and contemporary iconography, family and community, monomyths, and minimalism.
SELECTED PROJECTS & EXHIBITIONS
2020 – Untitled, group exhibition, Talon Gallery, Portland, USA; Vanguard, group exhibition, Outre gallery, Melbourne, Australia; Modern Folk, group exhibition, Outre Gallery, Melbourne, Australia; Decalcified, group exhibition, Superchief Gallery, Los Angeles, USA. 2019 – Mortal Machine gallery, group exhibition, Art Basel, Miami; Superchief Gallery, group exhibition, Art Basel, Miami, USA; BDSM, group exhibition, Superchief gallery, Miami; Fall group exhibition, Superchief gallery, Miami; Ashes street project charity auction, Los Angeles, USA; Paper Tiger, solo exhibition at Cartoon Network Studios, California. 2017 – Untitled, solo exhibition, Artist Republic, Orange County, California