FNB Art Joburg 2020


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We recently got invited to the FNB Art Joburg exhibition hosted by the Kalashnikovv Gallery in east Brammfontein

We got there and the Jase welcomed us with the most euthanized energy in preparation for the amazing viewing we had with the team

There were some exceptional piece that really made us fall in love with the art scene in our very own backyard.

The exhibition featured feminism piece which dominated the news as of late as there’s a-lot of gender based violence has been going on so we were glad to see such powerful pieces that evoke the delicacy yet firm spirit of our mothers, sisters and daughters across Africa.

Few of the artists we enjoyed were

Ayanda Mabulu (b. 1981 – Eastern Cape, RSA) is a self-taught artist whose work focuses on social upheavals and matters affecting the politics of the black body. He currently lives and works in Johannesburg.Mabulu is best known for using hyper-realistic imagery in his paintings and sculptures to depict and juxtapose powerful leaders, masters, and mistresses with defenseless victims of greed, oppression, poverty, and systematic racism.

Tackling the issues of inequality and his experiences in South African society, especially those that set the black body as an area where violence occurs, Mabulu is an internationally recognized South African artist. The discourse of power, culture, and identity arranged in narrative sequences that further exaggerate the already grotesque history of exploitation and its inheritance plays itself in his work. Mabulu’s narrative is exhibited daily in the minds of his people and dances on their tongues during conversations that seek to rebuild the global black community.Mabulu is an internationally recognized artist – whilst exhibiting in many museums and galleries around the world, Mabulu’s thought-provoking and critically acclaimed works are often covered by the New York Times, BBC, and Al Jazeera to name a few. Mabulu’s work is highly collected internationally by influential museums, galleries, diplomats, business people and moguls alike, celebrities and members of civil societ and

Craig  Smith  (b.  1961    Johannesburg,  RSA)  is  an  artist,  photographer and designer. He currently lives and works in Johannesburg. Smith began a career in photography in 1981, assisting the top commercial and fashion photographers in Johannesburg at the time. Smith’s  recent  works  come  from  the  comparative  irrelevance  of  modern life which one notices when reality is suspended for a moment and all the background noise and visual clutter fades away. The artist negotiates space, gesture and chance in a way that dismantles conventional understandings of aesthetics and the ambiguity and abstraction of his painted surfaces offer a chance for viewers to connect with the experience of contemplation and discovery. Smith has been able to create this space of meditative shelter within his art by calming his own thoughts through his creative process. “There  is  something  here  that  touches  the  nexus  of  what  it  is  to  make paintings in a way that is un-obvious and clean of artifice. It’s a genre and an approach which tosses protocol to the wind and takes abstraction to its nth degree, pulling you urgently but quietly by the strings of gentle striations, fine lines and the guttural flow of ink or toner tossed at apparent random on a raw canvas.” – Robyn Sassen

We had to mention Makandal (b. 1987 Johannesburg, RSA) is an interdisciplinary artist and ecofeminist based in Johannesburg. Working primarily with drawing and installation, her practice is concerned with processes, entropy, the binary between nature and artifice, living and dying, and ecologies. Makandal holds a BA Fine Art from Michaelis, UCT, Cape Town (2010)  and  is  currently  undertaking  her  Masters  at  Wits  School  of  Art, Witwatersrand University, Johannesburg with Scholarship. Makandal has exhibited in group exhibitions both locally and internationally. She currently lives and works in Johannesburg. Makandal meanders through materials  and themes,  working automatically, intuiting objects in space, off-setting and pairing them with unexpected counterparts. The material ‘things’ range from detritus collected off the street to plant matter, to commodity objects, to industrial matter. She is concerned with chance, order and chaos, and how, if she sets up a designated space, the objects can begin to jostle up against each other in a sort of struggle for power. In contrast, the objects sometimes occupy one flat plane, rendered of equal status and value. Marks and colours create visual mind-scapes or an alternative landscape of a subjective inner process. The process displaces the familiar and foreign in memory and place.

Johan  Thom (b. 1976 – Johannesburg, SA) obtained his BA in Fine Art from the University of Pretoria (1999), MTech in Fine Arts from Tshwane University of Technology (2002) and achieved his PhD in Fine Art from the Slade School of Fine Art in London (2014). He currently lives and works in Pretoria as a visual artist and Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at the Department of Visual Art, University of Pretoria. Thom  works across  a  variety  of media including  sculpture,  video, drawing, printmaking and photography. His research focus is on materiality in fine art where he utilises a broad range of theoretic frameworks that include evolutionary approaches to art-making and post-phenomenological, performative approaches to the body and its identity.

Thom is also one of South Africa’s foremost performance artists. He uses his own body and physical objects as the  site of exploration and expression. His work is often created in various  public urban contexts as well as museums and galleries. Thom’s works draw from his daily experience of life in South Africa, as well as from distinctly different cultural traditions and philosophies.

Khaya  Witbooi  (b.  1977)  grew  up in  Uitenhage  in the  Eastern  Cape province of South Africa. After matriculating in 1995 he did a college course in draughtsmanship and started working as an illustrator for an architectural firm while doing freelance work for The Argus newspaper in Cape Town (court sketches, cartoons etc.). He also Specialised in the painting of portraits. ‘ In June 2010 he was selected to join the Good Hope Artist’s Studio programme where he was given a studio and the opportunity to paint full-time. In December 2011 he was awarded an artist’s residency at the more prestigious Greatmore Studios in Woodstock, Cape Town.

Witbooi uses a combination of stenciling and oil painting to express his observations, usually of socio-political nature. The result is surreal and gritty feel layered with pop art iconography and distinctly African subject matter. Topics like democracy in postapartheid South Africa, human behaviour in this context and the effects of globalisation are dealt with regularly. It provides valuable insight into a world the viewer seldom had the opportunity to experience firsthand. ARTIST STATEMENT “I’ve taken it upon myself to make a statement of a concerned citizen. I’m not expecting people from around the world to do it before I do. If there’s any person to make the first comment, it is the person who feels it immediately, and I’m that person.” – Khaya 

Lazi  Mathebula (b. 1989 – Johannesburg, RSA) is an award-winning illustrator, independent designer and visual artist who believes that real creativity involves transforming the ordinary and in a sense, turning realism on its head. He currently lives and works in Johannesburg. Mathebula’s  work  reflects  a  recognisable  fixation  on  fine  detailing,  the intricacies of the purely African stories and a tasteful use of luminous colour to create long-lasting visual impressions. His instantly recognizable textures and patterns are as distinctive as they are delicate.

Crafted from the artist’s early experiences making drawings, paintings and digital illustration, his current artistic practice occupies a space that is concurrently  post-digital, post-street and post-apartheid.  Reflecting  an interest in the relationships between different sectors of South African society, the history of indigenous communities and the relationship between fashion  and ritual. Mathebula’s  practice investigates the  people and  the  textures  that  seem  to  define  the  urban  reality  of  Johannesburg. In this new body of work, sculptural forms take centre stage, with each character referencing a different narrative, unique in our diverse social landscape.

Maja Maljević (b. 1973 – Belgrade, SER) graduated from the School for Design in Belgrade in 1992 and received her BA in Fine Art (1997) and her MA in Fine Art (2000) from the University of Arts, Belgrade. In 2000, she moved to South Africa where she now lives and works as a full-time artist in Johannesburg. Maljević makes use of bright colours, big strokes and thick layers of paint in her work. She cites Michelangelo as an important inspiration, though her jagged style has much more in common with the New York painter Basquiat. However, it is rock music that truly inspires her. As a child of the nineties, she was influenced by grunge, where followers searched for despair in an era that pretended to shine with optimism. Her bright colours mix and resonate like distorted chords, and the melancholia is reflected in her characters.

Theresa-Anne Mackintosh (b. 1968 – Pretoria, RSA) obtained her BA in Fine Art (1990) and her MA in Fine Art (1995) from the University of Pretoria, majoring in painting. Shortly after her studies, she began to explore her keen interest in animation, adding this to a broad platform of artistic practice that includes painting, drawing, sculpture, photography and other digital media. She currently lives and works in Pretoria. Mackintosh develops her work from a position of quiet but intense subjectivity while remaining sensitive to the broader human condition. In the process, she has created a very distinct visual lexicon, giving shape to  various  personal  situations,  gestures  and symbols  in her  paintings, drawings and sculptural works. Her representational renderings may on the surface appear to inhabit a naive, child-like aesthetic, but this stripped  graphic  sensibility  carries  a  lugubrious,  pre-verbal  resonance that is almost untranslatable. This in turn is often offset by a stealthy deployment of text that exhibits her uncanny knack of the one-liner, a textual turn of phrase that strikes a primal nerve.

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