The subject matter of this work is an apt one for Pemba’s stylistic concerns. The contained drama and energy offered by the combatants in the boxing ring has served as inspiration for many artists and writers all over the world. Certainly a sport loved by South Africans, especially in Pemba’s home province of the Eastern Cape, boxing allows the artist to demonstrate his talent for social observation, giving him the scope to expressively convey dynamism and narrative.
By the time this work was painted, Pemba’s career had spanned six decades, during which time he had refined a style of social realism that was nuanced and incisive. Pemba’s work was infused not only with observational skill, but with humour and the keen eye he had developed over years of careful attention to the daily lives of South Africans.
Artwork courtesy of SABC Art Collection.
Boxers in The Ring
Acrylic on board
52 x 75 cm