b. 1975, Johannesburg, South Africa.
Lives and works in Cape Town, South Africa.
Known for deconstructing traditional notions of identity and representation, dominated today by contemporary media, branding, marketing and advertising, Asha Zero’s hyper-realistic paintings speak into the various traditions and languages within the history of Modernism and Postmodernism alike, most importantly Realism, Dada, Constructivism, Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, New Realism, and Neo-Expressionism. From this chimeric space Asha Zero effectively merges the seemingly opposing ideologies and conceptual foundations of Pop Art and Abstract Expressionism, confronting the medium of painting with institutionalised norms such as schizophrenia, pastiche, anxiety, erasure and simulacra. Under the guise(s) of imitation, artifice, fragmentation, ambiguity, ubiquity and anonymity, Asha Zero approaches painting on the same conceptual grounds as collage, depicting the everyday spectacle of the human condition through graphic iterations appropriated from the urban landscape and the contemporary media-sphere.
Asha Zero received his National Diploma in Fine Arts from the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), Pretoria, South Africa in 1997, and went on to present his first solo exhibition, Winner in Hawaii, in Pretoria, South Africa, in 2004. Following this, Zero presented numerous solo exhibitions, including: err_evvz in 2016 at SMAC Gallery in Cape Town, South Africa; Untitled at SMAC Gallery in Cape Town in 2015; forget about the goohexx: send in the du_plicann, in Cape Town in 2013; numberrs at Pertwee, Anderson & Gold, in London, UK in 2012; Micro Cluster Picnic at Rooke Gallery, in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2011; Macro Soda Text Hits in 2009 and Say For Me in 2008, both at 34FineArt in Cape Town, South Africa.
Most recently, Zero showed work as part of SMAC Gallery’s presentation at the 2018 Investec Cape Town Art Fair at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), and presented his third solo exhibition, Set User, with SMAC Gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Zero’s work has formed part of numerous group exhibitions and art fair presentations, both locally and abroad. In 2017 Zero participated in SMAC Gallery’s presentations at The ARMORY SHOW in New York City, USA, and ARTISSIMA Fair in Turin, Italy. Notable group exhibitions include: Rethinking – Krakotopia, at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) in Johannesburg, South Africa; UPSTART/STARTUP at SMAC Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa in 2016; Paint 1: Contemporary South African Painting 2002-2012 at SMAC Gallery in Cape Town in 2012; Dada South? Exploring Dada Legacies in South African Art 1960 to Present at the Iziko South African National Gallery in Cape Town, South Africa; Decade: Highlights from 10 years of Collecting for the Sanlam Art Collection at the London Art Fair in London, UK, both in 2009; and SCOPE Art Fair in London, UK in 2008, amongst others.
Zero’s work is included in multiple collections, most notably: the Matthais & Gervanne Leridon Collection; the Jack Ginsberg Collection; the Sanlam Art Collection, and the Campbell Smith Art Collection.
- Zero was recently apart of a group exhibition entitled Piece By Piece at No End Contemporary Art Space, in Johannesburg.
- Stories For Ways & Means is an ongoing project Zero participates in, a collaborative process where artists, Illustrators, writers and musicians come together to produce a children’s book story.