Check out Cape Town, South Africa based illustrator MW van der Walt. MW bears no meaning, giving him the creative freedom to answer every time he is asked what it stands for. In times it will be Mister Whiskers, but it’s always fun for him to come up with one on the spot.
Kirsten Beets was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1983. She works predominantly with oil paint on paper. Her main subjects and themes are how people interact with nature in a recreational way, usually observing things from a high vantage point and neatly rendering them in minute detail. Observations of people, places and objects (and sometimes the imaginative thoughts that were produced by them) thus recorded, transfer a fleeting moment into a physical object; elevating their significance and making them touchstones of memory.
South African born Ryan Hewett (previously featured here) is renowned for his brooding and evocative paintings. For Hewett, the portrait is not about capturing an external likeness of a subject; but rather creating a portal to the inner journey of self-exploration. He relies principally on the free-flowing processes of memory and creative imagination.
Faith47 is an internationally-acclaimed visual artist from South Africa who has been applauded for her ability to resonate with people around the world. Through her work, Faith47 attempts to disarm the strategies of global realpolitik, in order to advance the expression of personal truth. In this way, her work is both an internal and spiritual release that speaks to the complexities of the human condition, its deviant histories and existential search.
Using a wide range of media intended for gallery settings, her approach is explorative and substrate appropriate, including found and rescued objects, shrine construction, painting, projection mapping, video installation, printmaking and drawings.
South Africa based artist Ryan Hewett‘s paintings are notable for their flesh tones, and are thick with florid reds and lead white. He works impulsively, without a preliminary sketch or charcoal, beginning by applying paint directly to the surface and working quickly for fear of the oil drying. The result of this style of working is an abstracted and dynamic portrait with great presence and vitality.
For Hewett the portrait is not about capturing an external likeness of a subject; but rather as a portal to an inner journey of self-exploration. Hewett does not use sitters or models in an effort to produce a realistic depiction. Although photographs constitute his starting point, he relies principally on the free-flowing processes of memory and creative imagination.
A Labor of Love – Falko One extends beauty, joy and pride into these small South African villages with majestic elephants blending flawlessly into natural landscapes.
Once Upon a Town is a project conceptualized by Falko One in 2010 and first executed in Darling, South Africa in 2011. One says the idea of the project is to identify villages and homes that can benefit from tourists being attracted to these murals.
The environmental street art found in Cape Town and surrounding villages, conceptualizes graffiti (specifically elephants) as an extension of its infrastructure. A positive force of light and love that gives its citizens bragging rights while also honoring their existence and ancestral homeland. Staying true to his name, Falko One’s work captures the Oneness of humanity, bridging the gap of economical oppression with an influx of art and purpose to invigorate economic growth with the agricultural communities that are the “backbone” of the country.
One is currently painting in South Africa and his mission isn’t done yet. Follow his journey on Instagram.
Frances Goodman is a multimedia artist born in Johannesburg, South Africa. Working with objects commonly associated with female identity, such as acrylic nails, false eyelashes, and jewelry, Goodman explores how their habitual usage evolves into obsession and neuroses. Her humorously dark sculptures and installations suggest how self-conscious anxieties play a disproportionate role in governing women’s lives.
The repetitive and meticulous gestures used to make her works mimic the repetitive and meticulous labors of nail salons and beauty maintenance regimes. By employing these materials and efforts Goodman’s work draws attention to popular culture definitions that narrow the possibilities of female identity to extremes of consumption, aspiration, obsession, desire and anxiety.
Pieter Hugo was born 1976 in Johannesburg, South Africa. He is a photographer who primarily works in portraiture and whose work engages with both documentary and art traditions with a focus on African communities.
Created over the past eight years, Pieter Hugo’s series Kin confronts complex issues of colonization, racial diversity and economic disparity in Hugo’s homeland of South Africa. These subjects are common to the artist’s past projects in Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia and Botswana; however, this time, Hugo’s attention is focused on his conflicted relationship with the people and environs closest to home.
Kin is the artist’s personal exploration of South Africa through landscapes, portraits and still life photography. Hugo depicts locations and subjects of personal significance, such as cramped townships, contested farmlands, abandoned mining areas and sites of political influence, as well as psychologically charged still lives in people’s homes and portraits of drifters and the homeless. Hugo also presents intimate portraits of his pregnant wife, his daughter moments after her birth and the domestic servant who worked for three generations of Hugo’s family. Alternating between private and public spaces, with a particular emphasis on the growing disparity between rich and poor, Kin is the artist’s effort to locate himself and his young family in a country with a fraught history and an uncertain future.