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Willie Bester

An iconic South African activist, Willie Bester records history and comments on society through his art. The township is his excavation site, from discarded license plates to old tins, bottles and plastic. These found objects are melded into mixed media collages and overpainted. The only training he has was a year at the Community Arts Project in Cape Town. The rest of his ‘education’ came from life. In addition to found objects and photographs he takes for backdrops, Bester works with oil and enamel, adding colorful, vibrant and descriptive statements about daily life in the townships. In response to the racism and hate that was rampant in South Africa, Bester states: “I was angry looking at these kinds of things and I saw pictures. So I used my work as a tool against apartheid. I didn’t care if it matched your curtains or not. My art was a chance to be heard.”



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