Usually based in Durban, artist and agitator Skullboy has been working, and living, from Space Between gallery in Woodstock, Cape Town, feverishly creating artworks for his latest solo show opening tonight: Yung-Metamoderi$m.
Over 40 works will exhibited forming a body of both older pieces and new larger scale works created in residency that continue an ongoing comment-thread of discussion about culture, youth, technology and modern living.
An excerpt from his artist statement reads:
Yung iPhone, yungiSis. Yung #freethenipple, Yung #rhodesmustfall. Yung coffee snob, Yung xenophobe. Yung individual, Yung homogenous internet opinion. With a nod to ‘notes on camp’ – Skullboy talks only in ‘sensibilities’.
Yung-Metamoderi$m is the culmination of a month of living on a gallery floor, working at night and sleeping during the day as a resident artist. A month of semi-isolation, introspection and observation on a brave new world we think we have forged for ourselves – progressive, tailored, shiny but totally fucked with an omnipresent Apple logo. All been done before, a smiling caricature of everyone he’s ever admired, Yung-Metmoderi$m oscillates between humour and sadness, irony and truth, night and day. It’s All Crazy! It’s All False! It’s All A Dream! It’s not all right. (Hand me another cigarette while I fret about dying.)
Over the course of the month, Space Between gallery curator Megan Theunissen interviewed Skullboy about this body of work, and his approach in general.
How do you feel a month of solidarity and introspection away from Durban will affect your production?
I think a month away from my 9-5 will affect my production ten-fold. I’m just mostly excited to immerse myself in a habit of sleeping and eating my work which I haven’t had the luxury to do as of yet (THANK YOU Space Between!). Also, settling into my natural body clock is something I’m pretty interested to explore. I’ve got nowhere to be so I’ve got no reason to go to sleep, you know.
You have been speaking out on social media and participating in anti-xenophobic campaigns as of late, will this be present in your production during May?
Yeah certainly – my work mostly deals with things that I’m dealing with and thinking about so it’ll make an appearance. I’ve been thinking about it a lot. I’m a white male from the suburbs so what do I really know about the realities though? I’m fucking against the violence, man – it’s some medieval shit. I do think it brings to light other issues such as immigration, government apathy to properly regulate and monitor the real situation on the ground and the responsibility and power of traditional leaders. Other African countries opened their arms to our brothers in exile during the apartheid years whereas we’re cutting motherfuckers down in the streets. But yeah: Fuck xenophobia.
Let’s chat about Capitalism! Do you believe that inequality in our country is a direct result of Capitalism?
Capitalism? Fuck dude, the problem’s bigger than trying to sell iPhones. Capitalism will fuck up the environment and hire child-labourers for 13c an hour – we’re dealing with inequality installed over generations, modern day tribalism and the fundamental belief that I’ll fuck you over to make sure that I’m eating dinner with porcelain and silver.
Many describe your works as ‘Basquiat’ inspired. Was this ever your intention when developing your practice years ago? How do you feel about people comparing your works?
I’ve always loved Basquiat and I think it’s evident in some of my work. Like I said, I make what I’m dealing with and sometimes I think about him a lot and it’s some sort of weird sub-conscious reflection. Saul once uttered ‘I ain’t even got my own style, sometimes I’m Fifty Cent’ – I think that’s the best answer I can give.
Which South African artists would you like to collaborate with in the future?
I’ve worked with Roger Jardine on many an occasion and always loved that. Cameron Platter would be a treat. Does Earl Sweatshirt count? Fuck, I’ve been so lucky lately to work with so many people I genuinely admire and who inspire me so I’m not working on a shopping list – I’m just stoked to be working.
What advice do you have for the young creatives out there trying to hustle a buck?
Work, work, work. Collaborate. Open yourself up to opportunity. Do shit that you don’t know how to do. I’ve always had a 9 to 5 to support my artmaking process so there’s an aspect to this question I can’t relate to. But a full-time job does give you the freedom to experiment and fail because rent’s paid and the beers are bought. Or you could just suck a lot of dick. That’s what the Ramones did and look at them.
Lastly, what can we expect from you in your exhibition at Space Between?
Black, grey, gold, white, fucks, installations, madness. Who the fuck knows. Like I said, Im not coming to Cape Town to play.
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