About Conrad Botes The Visual Artist

Conrad Botes (b. 1969 – Western Cape, SA) has an MA in Fine Arts from the University of Stellenbosch (1997) and a degree in Second Phase Illustration from the Koninklijke Akademie voor Beeldende Kunsten, Den Haag, Netherlands (1994). He currently lives and works in Cape Town.

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Botes’ biting satire, frequently directed at South African society, politics and religion, is channelled into both his painting, printmaking and sculptural art practice, and his satirical comics, published – alongside his frequent collaborator Anton Kannemyer – in the Bitterkomix series. Botes is fascinated by the subversive quality an image can possess, where the formal aspects and the physical beauty of a work can draw the viewer in and seduce, and simultaneously being confronted by disturbing content and subject matter.

Botes’ work often oscillates between different formal practices; he is equally at ease sculpting or painting. He can be equally drawn into the complicated narrative of the comic sequential narrative or the austereness of portraiture. Yet when it comes to the content of his work, he is fundamentally drawn towards allegory and its ability to seduce the viewer into a narrative. This is why he often chooses biblical themes as vehicles for political allegories, they have a familiarity that one can relate to, yet they hold the possibility to mimic reality and challenge beliefs and ideologies. Growing up during Apartheid South Africa, these themes also hold the potential for exploring the intricacies of guilt and complicity and their relationship to violence, race and gender

Available Works:
Cape Town Art Fair

2019/ FNB Art Joburg Fair

Selected Press:
Latest Exhibit From Conrad Botes Is An Exploration Of The Marikana Massacre (Sunday Times)

Botes Takes On A Giant Subject (Mail & Guardian)

Invasion Of Zombies, Dress In Candy Floss (Mail & Guardian)

Conrad Botes (Art Throb)

Selected Solo Exhibitions
2020 BitterKomix with Anton Kannemeyer – 131 A Gallery, Cape Town, RSA

2019 The Goliath Protocol – CIRCA Gallery, Johannesburg, RSA

2014 Wounds of the past – .M Contemporary, Sydney AUS

2012 Zombie Babylon – Stevenson Gallery, Johannesburg, RSA

2011 The Temptation to Exist – Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town, RSA

2010 On Earth as It Is in Heaven – Kwa-Zulu Natal Society of Arts, Durban, RSA

2010 House of Judas – Fred Gallery, London, GBR

2009 Crime and Punishment – Brodie and Stevenson Gallery, Johannesburg, RSA

2009 Hostile Territory – Aardklop Arts Festival, Potchefstroom, RSA

2009 Cain and Abel – Michael Stevenson, Johannesburg, RSA

2007 Satan’s Choir at the Gates of Heaven – Michael Stevenson, Johannesburg, RSA

2005 Conrad Botes – ABSA Gallery, Johannesburg, RSA

2005 Notes from Underground – Gallery MOMO, Johannesburg, RSA

2005 Devil’s Bullets – Erdmann Contemporary, Cape Town, RSA

2005 Conrad Botes – ABSA Gallery, Johannesburg, RSA

2004 Forensic Theatre – Gallery Momo, Johannesburg, RSA

2004 Conrad Botes – Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg, RSA

2003 The Big White Sleep – The Scene Gallery, New York, USA

2003 The Big White Sleep – Galleria L’Ariete, Bologna, ITA

2002 Conrad Botes – Studio d’Arte Raffaelli, Trento, ITA

Selected Group Exhibitions & Projects
2020 Winter Group Exhibition – Gallery Fanon, Johannesburg, RSA

2020 Wild Wild Life – Glen Carlou Gallery, Cape Town, RSA

2020 Group Exhibition – 131 A Gallery, Cape Town, RSA

2019 Self – Glen Carlou Gallery, Stellenbosch, RSA 

2018 Satirical Pop – .M Contemporary, Sydney, AUS

2018 Edging Forward: New Prints 2018/Winter – International Print Center, New York, USA

2018 Once When We Were Free – Erdmann Contemporary, Cape Town, RSA

2017 Silos – Silas von Morisse Gallery, New York, USA

2016 In Residence II – Oliver Sears Gallery, Dublin, IRL

2014 Artists Engaged? Maybe – Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon, PRT

2013 A Sculptural Premise – Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town, RSA

2013 Sharp Sharp Johannesburg – Gaite Lyrique, Paris, FRA

2013 The Loom of the Land – Stevenson, Johannesburg, RSA

2013 Pop Goes the Revolution – The New Church, Cape Town, RSA

2012 Bitterkomix: Contemporary Comics from South Africa, Llotja del Cànem 

Seu de la Ciutat de la, SPN 

2012 Universitat Jaume I, Castelló de la Plana, SPN

2011 Victims and Martyrs – Gothenburg Kunsthalle, SWE

2011 Contemporary South African Artists -Turner Galleries, Perth, AUS

2011 Impressions from South Africa, 1965 to Now – Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA

2010 Divisions: Aspects of South African Art 1948 – 2010 – SMAC Art Gallery, Stellenbosch, RSA

2010 Africa Art Now: Contemporary Art from the African Diaspora – Fred Gallery, London, GBR

2010 … for those who live in it: Pop culture, politics and strong voices – MU Eindhoven, NLD 

2010 The Beauty of Distance: Songs of survival in a precarious age – 17th Biennale of Sydney, 

Sydney, AUS

2010 PEEKABOO – Current South Africa – Tennis Palace Art Museum, Helsinki, FIN

2009 Bitterkomix: Un certain regard sur l’Afrique du Sud – Angoulême International Comics 

Festival, FRA

2009 Conrad Botes, Anton Kannemeyer & Henning Wagenbreth: Recent prints and drawings 

Gallery AOP, Johannesburg, RSA

2008 Farewell to Post-Colonialism – Third Guangzhou Triennial, CHN

2007 Apartheid: The South African Mirror – Centre de Cultura Contemporania de Barcelona, ESP

2007 South African Art: Modern art and cultural development in a changing society 

Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum, SVK

2007 Turbulence, Hangart-7 (air & art) Edition 6 – GER

2007 South African Art Now – Michael Stevenson, Cape Town, RSA

Residencies & Awards
2020 Artist in Residence, Cité des Arts, Saint Denis, Réunion, FRA
2011 Artist in Residence, Turner Galleries, Perth, AUS

2005 Artists Residency, Cite International des Arts, Paris, FRA

2004 Absa L’Atelier Award, RSA

2003 Art Omi International Artists Residency, New York, USA

Art Fairs
1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair, New York, USA (2015, 2018)

Investec Cape Town Art Fair, Cape Town, RSA (2014, 2018 – 2020)

FNB Art Joburg Fair, Johannesburg, RSA (2019)

RMB Turbine Art Fair, Johannesburg, RSA (2016)

Southern Guild, Miami, Chicago & Aspen, USA (2017, 2020)

Sydney Contemporary Art Fair, Sydney, AUS (2015)

Design Miami/ Basel, Basel, CHE (2013, 2017)

Havana Biennale, CUB (2006)

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