Joburg Fringe, a fair that seeks to encourage a diverse art audience, will return to The Art Room with an exhibition of fresh, dynamic and original work by eight South African artists
Charity Vilakazi, Shut Eye, 2014. All images courtesy of the artists & Joburg Fringe.
The fair is led by an artist-run organisation and this artist-centric model means that more often than not the stands are run by the artists themselves. Claudia Schneider, the founder and director of the fair, emphasised the importance of providing a platform for emerging artists with, or without, gallery representation when she spoke to Mary Corrigal of the Saturday Star in 2017, saying, “A fringe is important because it gives space to all the artists who want to be seen and get visibility. I think, for any artist, the most important thing is to have their work seen, for sure to make sales and find a gallerist, but if you don’t get out there, if you do not shout it to the forest, you won’t get an echo.”
The artists – Charity Vilakazi, Thebe Phetogo, Lusanda Ndita, Sulette van der Merwe, Stian Deetlefs, Moshe Chauke, Sibusiso Bheka and Neil Badenhorst – were selected out of a pool of 66 submissions by a jury made up of Schneider, Bonolo Kavula, Colleen Alborough, Gordon Froud, Graeme Williams, Malcolm Payne, Marylin Martin, Mbali Tshabalala, Mudi Yahaya, Sarie Potter, Simonetta Bravi and Thuli Gamedze.
Charity Vilakazi is a Market Photo Workshop-trained Johannesburg-based photographer who draws inspiration from her imagination. As a child, her grandmother told her that she was very imaginative and inspired her to create ‘Villa World’, a creative space, where she does all her brainstorming.
Thebe Phetogo, Conspicuous Fraud in Otjikaiva, 2019. Shoe polish collage and acrylic on canvas, 35,8 x 40,5cm.
Thebe Phetogo’s body of work is inspired by his positionality as a Botswanian artist living and working in South Africa. His research and practice focus on the subjective realities that all migrants inherently carry within them through the different spaces they occupy.
Lusanda Ndita, from the series Iqhawe, 2019. Digital Collage, 60 x 40cm.
Lusanda Ndita’s Iqhawe is influenced by the experience of being raised by a single mother. According to Nditha, ” Iqhawe is a process of endearment, celebrating the everyday woman and a tribute to my mother for been strong, tolerant and understanding. I am celebrating women because they bring a precious gift to the universe, Woman gives Life to Earth.”
Sulette van der Merwe, “Them”. Acrylic on board, 39 x 43,5cm.
Sulette van der Merwe works in painting, print and video animation and her paintings – which are influenced by pop art, surrealism and digital culture – are an exploration of intuitive connections between representational images. The work is informed by a fascination with narrative abstractions that arise from combining realistic and graphic imagery.
Stiaan Deetlefs, Self-portrait, 2019. Industrial tape, 52 x 56 x 36cm.
Stiaan Deetlefs’ is a Richards Bay-based self-taught artist inspired by Pollock, Kline and de Kooning whose work interrogates the industrial world we live in. He uses industrial materials such as concrete, found objects and household paints to depict the human condition.
Moshe Chauke, Bomba Ra Xintu, 2019. Charcoal pastel, 70 x 100cm.
Moshe Chauke’s work is inspired by his childhood memories of growing up in rural Limpopo and because he has no photos of his family he tries to create his own through his drawings. Chauke says, “The life I had as a child feels like a dream because none of the things that were there when I was a child still exist; not knowing my culture nor understanding the history of my people has led me to feel incomplete.”
Sibusiso Bheka, Jumping Boarders, 2016, Photography, 29,7 x 42cm.
Sibusiso Bheka studied photography at the Vaal University of Technology and his work has been exhibited at Addis Foto Fest (2015), the Ghent International Photo Festival (2015), Rencontres de Bamako (2017) and the National Museum of World Cultures in the Netherlands (2018). Bheka was shortlisted for the Magnum Foundation Photography and Social Justice Fellowship in 2018 and in 2019 he was nominated for the Joop Swart Masterclass and the CAP Prize for Contemporary African Photography.
Neil Badenhorst, Icarus, 2019. Digital media, 27cm x 27cm.
Neil Badenhorst is a multidisciplinary Pretoria-based artist studying towards a Masters in Illustration, exploring crisis heterotopias and ritual spaces in illustrated fantasy worlds. Badenhorst’s self-portraiture investigates the contradictory relationships between the self-portrait, commonly associated with self-reflection, and the selfie which is most likely associated with narcissistic behaviour.
Joburg Fringe 2019 @ The Art Room
Venue: The Art Room, 22 – 4th Ave, Cnr. 7th St, Parkhurst, Johannesburg.
Preview: Sunday 3 November 10 am – 2 pm
Dates of exhibition: 3 – 30 November 2019.
Opening times: Mon. to Thur. 9:00–17:00; Fri. 9:00–16:00; Sat. 9:00–14:00;
Sponsors: KPO | A.T.