The Easel

Cinga Samson’s Haunting Portraits Honor His South African Community

Samson resists expectations to focus his art on race and poverty. Wary of being “marginalized under the politics”, he wants his portraits to tell stories about “the beautiful black man” in his Cape Town community. He portrays local people in slightly surreal images, equal parts mystical and celebratory. No doubt encouraged by his skyrocketing profile, Samson declares “There’s no better time to be a black person in our history.”