Thank Heavens, no political exposes
The Cape Town art world is notoriously factionalized, combative and full of 'Mandela" or African imagery. (Lets ride the Mandela wave as long as we can).
For new arrivals this atmosphere is both surprising and highly entertaining. So it was refreshing to see a group exhibition that did not show one single Mandela picture, none of the big five and, thank Heavens, no political exposes on what happened 20 years ago.
Instead, there was art to enjoy, art to think about, and art that was just plain fun.
It was refreshing to not yet see ANOTHER, Jimmy Law copy (at least he was original) of faces and more faces. One of the the things of CT galleries and artist is....lets copy the latest success story and kill it whilst making as much money as we can.
The artist should rather paint what he or she is good at, what they are passionate about. If all artist would do that, then we would see much more original art in CT, instead of everyone following the latest fashion. Because that is all it end up being. Overuse becomes fashion, and fashion has the tendency to die very quickly.
Two of the artist were new comers to the scene, Tanya Carstens and Jacques Westraad. They were invited there to exhibit with the two more well known artists, Leonie.e.Brown and Salome Briers.
It was wonderful to see some new fresh work. Jacques had an almost Picasso feel to his work, whilst Tanya's was more earthy and based on the stories of different woman. Both artists are still at the beginning of their careers. It would be interesting to see if they will maintain and exhibit again.
Salome Briers is well known in CT for her naive, fun paintings, full of life and laughter. She did not disappoint. Her work was refreshing and without any deep hidden and angst filled meanings. Nice to have some life and laughter in this time.
Leonie.e.Brown had a surprisingly wide variety of big format works on display. From her more well known 1.8 meter landscapes to abstracts and a very unusual close up of an outside toilet...some hidden meaning there?
The work definitely jumped off the wall. As she says on her opening page of her website: 'THEY SHOULD LEAP OFF THE WALLS AND OVERWHELM YOU WITH THEIR TACTILE, CHOCOLATE THICK, SYRUPY COLOR AND TEXTURE." This is obviously an artist with a wide range and scope of ability and technique. Lets see where she goes next year.