Rasta’s Painting Of Chadwick Boseman has got many talking.
South African artist Lebani Sirenje, popularly known as Rasta the Artist, has been receiving a lot of backlash for his painting of the late American actor and Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman.
Rasta has become notorious for his paintings of prominent deceased people, mainly South Africans, as his paintings somehow never seem to resemble their subjects at all.
It was no different in the case of Chadwick Boseman’s painting. When Rasta shared the finished portrait of the American star who died over the weekend, social media quickly exploded as people were not impressed with his work. Rasta even tagged Marvel Studios and Chadwick Boseman’s social media accounts.
Many were of the opinion that Rasta had painted someone else and not Boseman.
Some opined that the only thing that he got correct is the claws while others said the painting seemed close to Lionel Richie than Boseman. Some even said that the painting looked more like George Floyd or Wesley Snipes.
Below are some of the reactions from Twitter;
Rasta The Artist whose real name is Lebani Sirenje is a Zimbabwe born paint artist who is famous for his controversial portraits of celebrities which many say the don’t resemble the artists he paints. Rasta The Artist specialises mostly in portraits of dead celebrities. Rasta has painted a number of celebrities that includes late struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, current South Africa president Cyril Ramaphosa, Springboks captain Siya Kolisi, news anchor Vuyo Mbuli and musicians Lundi Tyamara, HHP, Prokid and Mandoza.
Rasta claims he started painting at the age of 9 whilst in primary school. Rasta The Artist was born in 1977 in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. He lived in Pumula East and attended Igwengwe primary school in 1990 and Magwegwe Secondary School before completing his secondary education in 1994. He later moved to South Africa.
Rasta The Artist defend his work against the criticism that it is of poor quality saying people take pictures of his unfinished paintings.
“People do not understand the pressure that comes with painting in public, it’s not easy. Also, many people take pictures of my artwork when they are not complete and make comments on them. Some families are shocked when I send them the final artwork and see how good it looks, considering all the comments they see on social media about the artwork.”
The name is believed to have originated from his long dreads. The name seems to be a perfect choice for him. Also, often, he likes wearing Rasta colour outfits. Besides, he has never complained about it.
Lebani is a husband and father of two kids. At times, he keeps his personal life out of the public eye. Thus, it is not easy to tell the name of his wife and the two kids. However, there are a few pictures of his last-born daughter and wife on his Facebook account.
The six-year-old daughter takes after him. For instance, she has done a painting of the late Madiba. In 2015, he posted a picture of him and her holding the portrait of the South African freedom fighter.