Derrick Nxumalo is a self-taught artist with an exploratory approach to his technique and subject matter, creating obsessively detailed, graphic representations of an idealized version of the city and landscape of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. Nxumalo works in ballpoint pen and acrylic paint on cotton needlepoint paper. He speaks of each piece having its own pattern, where the details of vegetation and architecture are used with an understanding of perspective and colour in their purest forms.
Nxumalo was born in Dumisa, near Scottburgh in KwaZulu-Natal in 1962. A former gardener, miner, and waiter, he added politician to his resume in 2003, when he was elected as a councilor for the Dududu district in KwaZulu-Natal. This political arc
forms a continuous theme in his practice, in which he investigates and questions the developing democracy of our society through a utopian representation of his hometown, Durban.
Nxumalo has mounted exhibitions in South Africa and abroad. In July 2021 KZNSA Gallery presented his most recent solo, Paradise? featuring three of his renowned large-scale works. KZNSA has represented Nxumalo at art fairs nationally and abroad, including the inaugural Latitudes Art Fair in Johannesburg, 2019, and at the Investec Cape Town Art Fair and Prizm Art Fair, Miami, in 2020.
Nxumalo was invited to feature in a mid-career presentation at the Turbine Art Fair 2021, curated by Karel Nel. His work is held in numerous private and public collections including Anglo Vaal Corporation, South African Breweries, The Durban Art Gallery, University of KwaZulu-Natal, and the University of the Witwatersrand.