Meleko Mokgosi Wins $100,000 Made in L.A. Prize

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Now, that Los Angeles has its own biennial, it needs a suitably impressive monetary prize to go along with it. In conjunction with the Hammer’s inaugural Made in L.A. exhibition, which features the work of 60 local artists across a variety of disciplines, philanthropists Jarl and Pamela Mohn put up the money — $100,000 to be precise — for a prize. And the winner is…

Meleko Mokgosi, a 31-year-old Botswana-born artist and recent UCLA grad (MFA ’11) whose massive, multi-paneled painting explores sikhuselo sembumbulu, a Xhosa term meaning “bulletproof.” The award will be granted over two years and will be accompanied by the publication of a monograph of Mokgosi’s work.

While the five finalists — Simone Forti, Liz Glynn, Mokgosi, Slanguage, and Erika Vogt — were chosen by a jury of pros, the winner of the Mohn Award was chosen by visitors to the exhibition. Made in L.A. runs through Sep. 1 at the Hammer Museum in Westwood.