Olwethu Mahlathini has always been of the opinion that art is like a farm of thoughts, and that these thoughts are then cultivated onto a canvas by an artist.
Mahlathini’s work is about depicting what he is surrounded by and what he sees every day and emphasizes the importance of one’s identity as individuals and also collectively within our societies. He works predominantly in oil and also makes charcoal drawings. This, he says, is his life as an artist.
Mahlathini chose to follow the path of portraiture. This is because he always finds every human being special and unique. He has a belief that we are all mirrors to each other. He believes it is important for us to understand our role in whichever environment we are placed in, so that we will be able to contribute positively to life in general, because when we understand our identity as individuals it becomes easy for us to develop a positive mindset towards ourselves and towards others as well.
In his work he explores the emotions of what people go through in relation to what they love doing and what they respect as their own, or what they consider is disadvantageous for them, or what is their pride and heritage.