Motion picture artist, draughtsman, commercial artist, video artist, performance artist, animation artist, sculptor, set designer and film director
William Kentridge was born in 1955 in Johannesburg into a well-to-do Jewish family. His parents, both attorneys, played leading roles in numerous apartheid trials and were active opponents of racial segregation. Kentridge studied politics and African studies and subsequently fine arts in Johannesburg. In the 1980s he went to Paris to study at the École internationale de théâtre Jacques Lecoq. He first worked as an actor and director in theatre and television productions. As a freelance artist he began creating animated films based on the social and political situation in South Africa. He presented his films in 1993 at the 45th Venice Biennale, again in 2005 at the 51st Venice Biennale, and in 1997 and 2002 at documenta 10 and 11 in Kassel. They have been shown in many solo and group exhibitions at well-known institutions around the world. In 2012 Kentridge was invited to exhibit at documenta 13, and in 2013 Yale University made him an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts. Kentridge lives and works in Johannesburg.