GEMS          AFRICA
Fine Art & Sculpture Gallery
Art.  Life.  Celebration.
Martin Tose
Martin Quibinsizi Tose:  1958 – 2004
Born in Germiston, Gauteng, Province, South Africa

Training : Open School, Johannesburg, Nat Mokgosi, 1975 – 1977
Kathlehong Art Center, Johannesburg, Thato Mamabolo 1977-1980

Tose has a fresh and inspiring approach to life in and around the black townships. His main focus in his paintings revolves around the everyday life of the man on the street. Tose was a deeply spiritual individual that had an intense passion for the emotions of his fellow human beings.   Tose’s life has been plagued by depression. This condition was brought about by a chemical imbalance in his brain that often had him retreating into his home and inner sanctuary. Tose was deeply disturbed by the fact that his home town of Kathlehong and the greater Johannesburg still remained bound by poverty and unemployment. The dark shroud of depression could often be seen in his work and in his life. We find a hint of traditional and tribal origins and roots in most of his pieces. His paintings have an almost religious feel to them. It often reminds one of scenes from the bible. Tose was a very deep thinking man. He pondered on the questions exploring our existence. A theme commonly explored by all of mankind throughout the centuaries. He explores several of these avenues in his paintings with great success. 

Tose has found the secret blend of color and form wherein his figures and landscapes become almost completely abstract yet remains recognizable enough to identify them. Tose often explores the close relationship between man and beast, not only in the traditional ways when animals were used to do all the hard physical labor, but also in the modern age where humans interact with them on a day-to-day basis in a much more humane way. He often reflects on the relationships and bonds between human beings. He would explore the meeting between a man and a woman and the emotions being felt at that particular moment. Using color and shape he shows how fragile and delicate the initial meetings can be and how people are often perceived softer and gentler than what they perhaps are in real life. He would use shape form and color staying with different hues of blue, green and yellow, to create soft non-threatening landscapes wherein his characters come to life.

Tose was never politically active. He focused on spreading the message of goodwill and peace. His art does not always necessary reflect on the politics of the day in obvious ways like Godfrey Ndaba or the black eyed Madonna's of Macala. He examined the people around him and their personal interactions and relationships. In some of the mixed media paintings he uses cuttings of small pieces of newspaper that draws the eye of the observer closer and warrants a close examination in order to examine the fine detail of the different textures. This mimics the way that we act in real life. We have very complex relationships that seem very simple and uncomplicated on the surface but underneath they are indeed very complicated and not simple at all. Just like this small detail on the painting draws our attention, we should look at the small detail in each relationship and examine the complexities thereof in order to understand the whole.

Solo Exhibitions
- Winstons African Art Gallery, Rosebank South Africa, 1997
-, Beltsville, USA 1998

Group Exhibitions
- Lidchi Gallery, Johannesburg, 1972
- Winstons Art Gallery, Rosebank, South Africa, 1997
- Art Expo, New York 1999
- Gallery Petalouth, Alexandria, USA
- Everard Read Galleries, 1991

Collections Corporate & Private
- SAEDF Collection, Johannesburg, South Africa
- ABSA Bank Collection, Johannesburg, South Africa
- Standard Bank Collection, Johannesburg, South Africa
- SASOL Art Collection, Rosebank, South Africa
- National Art Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
- University Of Fort Hare
- Rand Realty Art Collection, South Africa
- Vodacom Art Collection, Johannesburg, South Africa
- MTN, Johannesburg, South Africa
- BMW Art Collection, Sandton, South Africa
- Morehouse College, Atlanta, USA
- French Embassy, Pretoria
- Peruvian Embassy, Pretoria
- Martin G Britz Collection, Germiston, South Africa
- Dr. R Dusse, Kestel, South Africa
- Lekota Art Collection, Meyersdal, South Africa

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