We kicked off our highlights of 2014 with a list of the (sometimes rather surprising) things most viewed by you – our readers. For part 2/5 we’re analysing the data in a different way, by identifying some recurring trends in art and design.
Throughout the course of the year, we couldn’t help but notice a few themes emerging in the work we featured on the site: be it in terms of subject matter, style, concept or approach. Before we start the new year afresh we decided to delve a little deeper into these. We began by looking back into our archives to see what stuck. In the end, nine trends – both broad and specific – became clear. Our list, which is by no means definitive, includes: food, space, heritage, nostalgia, ‘constructed’ objects/images, body parts, fashion meets art (and vice versa) and all things surreal. Rather than simply tell you about these we thought it best to show you – in the form of themed mood boards highlighting each trend.
The trend: FOOD
From multiple clothing collaborations (Daniel Ting Chong x RVCA or 2BOP x MUTI) to art pieces and exhibitions (‘City of Gold Diggers‘ by Jana + Koos in New York, a mural by Cameron Platter for ‘I SAW THIS’ and Chloë Hugo-Hamman’s junk food shrine at the ‘Uncertain Terms‘ group show) to illustrations and photography – food was one of the first trends we noticed this year. It’s a fun one that turns the tables: usually something to be designed around – packaging, restaurants etc – the food itself has become the subject of art and design and it means that we’re able to wear it, decorate our homes with it and hang it up in galleries. A fast food bucket hat, two one-eyed pizzas, ceramic roast chickens and a banana-print cozzie are just a few of the gems in our list of creatives paying tribute to all things tasty.
MUTI x 2BOP, ‘A tribute to all things tasty’ / Jana + Koos, ‘City of Gold Diggers‘ / Off milk illustrated by Jaco Haasbroek / Strawberries (times two) photographed by Thomas Pepler / Pizza Coma for ‘BAZOOKA‘, a group show by the Mega Bonanza collective / 3D donut illustration by Jean-Pierre le Roux / Portrait of Danielle Clough by Justin Poulter / ‘Hungry’ mural by Cameron Platter / Banana cozzie by Catherine Green / Junk food installation by Chloë Hugo-Hamman / Daniel Ting Chong x Unknown Union tee / Ceramic chicken’s by Mr Somebody and Mr Nobody / Apple photographed by Willem-Dirk du Toit / Hand poke pizza tattoo by Ninjabreadboy / ‘Watermelon Boy’ by Russell Abrahams / ‘All Fours’ illustration by Matthew Bradley / Daniel Ting Chong x RVCA range / Banana by Reynard Nel / Digital collage by Karin Miller
The trend: SPACE
Anthing related to space is a good idea as far as we’re concerned and this year we saw many a cosmic influence on photographers, artists, illustrators and stylists. In Chris Auret’s solo exhibition ‘You Have My Word‘, an entire chapter explored the universe and his own existence in the world. When Spoek Mathambo’s superband Fantasma introduced themselves, it was through the trippy/space-y/lazer-eyed photographs of Kent Andreasen. Friendly looking aliens featured prominently in YOH!’s ‘On Sight‘ streetwear range, and Amber Smith illustrated David Bowie’s Major Tom and Lady Stardust in her solo show, ‘Back to the Future‘. Not to mention the more subtle galactic atmospheres present in certain works by Francois Visser, Alexia Vogel and Lukhanyo Mdingi…things got pretty spaced out in 2014 and we loved it.
Painting by Chris Auret for his solo show, ‘You Have My Word‘ / Fantasma shot by Kent Andreasen / Photograph by Lisa Ting Chong and sculpture by Rodan Kane Hart, both featured in our Minimal-List / Aeriel photograph by Illana Welman / David Bowie’s Major Tom illustrated by Amber Smith / Pastelheart x TEIN clothing range / Gerald Machona‘s ‘Ndiri Afronaut’ / Illustration by Kirsten Sis for ‘You Draw Like a Girl‘ / An icelandic landscape by Sven Kristian / YOH!’s streetwear line, ‘On Sight‘ / Styling by Pholoso Selebogo / NaasFILMS ‘Secret Ghost’ music video for Oh Dark Arrow / Fashion editorial by Sivan Miller / Absract photograph by Charles Harry Mackenzie / Dreamy painting by Alexia Vogel / Black and white photograph by Francois Visser / Lukhanyo Mdingi x Katja Marr / Illustration by Anneke Jacobs / Kari photographed by Betina du Toit / MUTE collection by Jenevieve Lyons / ‘Emporers of Space‘ zine by Jean de Wet / Painting by Tess Metcalf for the ‘Gravity‘ group exhibition / MUTI’s illustrated ‘Masters of the Universe‘ / Large-scale paper collage by Galia Gluckman
The trend: HERITAGE / AFRICA-INSPIRED
This is one trend that we hope will stick around forever. Laduma Ngxokolo’s ‘My Heritage, My Inheritance‘ collection, Ed Suter’s ‘Sharp Sharp Ghana‘ series and Anisa Mpungwe’s celebratory range for MRP are just a few examples of how African inspirations found their way into fashion (and the documentation thereof) this year. In the realm of film we saw Spoek Mathambo and Lebogang Rasethaba’s ‘Future Sound of Mzansi‘ documentary, and a film about art, music and freedom in SA called ‘Shield and Spear‘. Additionaly, we came across plenty of art, illustration, music videos, photographic series and publications centering on the theme of heritage or inspired by Africa.
‘L’afrique C’est Chic‘, an editorial for GQ Online by Chris Saunders / MAXHOSA by Laduma Ngxokolo‘s ‘My Heritage, My Inheritance‘ collection / The Future Sound of Mzansi documentary / A spread from iJusi magazine‘s ‘The Mandela Isssue’ / SA struggle heroes illustrated by MUTI / From the series ‘Soft Walls’ by Sydelle Willow Smith / Sharp Sharp Ghana by Ed Suter / Image shot on set of Nozinja’s ‘Tsekeleke’ music video /African pin-up girl illustraion by Shine Shine / Street style captured by Themba Mbuyisa / ‘Wake Up, This is Joburg‘ book series / YENZA, celebrating everyday African innovation / Lalesso’s print filled Resort 2015 Collection / A South African pantry illustrated by Mieke van der Merwe / The Babatunde 2014 lookbook / Illustration for the Durban Art Route by Ninjabreadboy / The ‘Twenty Journey‘ by Sipho Mpongo, Wikus de Wet and Sean Meterlerkamp / ‘The Forgotten Kingdom‘, a film by Andrew Mudge / Vol 1 of Anthony Bila’s ‘Black History March‘ photo series / ‘Africa Special’ poster by Toby2Shoes / Anisa Mpungwe for MRP, a collection celebrating Africa / Still from ‘Shield and Spear‘ by Petter Ringbom / Madiba: our country’s greatest story told in Lego / ‘My Mzansi Heart‘, a book by King Adz / ‘Graffiti South Africa‘ by Cale Waddacor / Gifs by Thandiwe Tshabalala illustrating the ‘ABC’s of Xhosa Names‘
The trend: NOSTALGIA / RETRO
Much to our delight the nostalgic and retro vibes were strong this year; from Ben Johnson’s MS Paint inspired scarves for L’MAD to Driehoek’s super old school illustrations. An iconic example of this trend in action is Henrik Purienne, who photographs his subject’s in a sun-drenched fantasy. Earlier this year, skirting the glamour of 70s disco and the soul of psychedelia, was Pichulik’s gorgeous AW14 collection. More recently we were treated to a new music video for Petite Noir’s track ‘Chess’, inspired by the aspirational photographs of Philip Kwame Apagya and with Fresh-Prince-of-Bel-Air-esque styling. Willem Samuel also took us way back with his illustrations for a re-issue of ‘Die Swart Kat’ book, based on the much loved tv series of the same name. Even our #NowPlaying series followed suit, most notably with Ruschka du Toit’s ‘Make Me Feel Nostalgic‘ playlist of songs to go with the changing seasons.
Ben Johnson for L’MAD Collection / The photography of Henrik Purienne / ‘Level Up‘, an exhibition by Driehoek / Pichulik’s retro AW14 lookbook / ‘Jungle Jim‘, an African pulp-fiction magazine / Missibaba’s colour block capsule collection / From ‘Different‘, a book designed by Mzwakhe Ndlovu with photographs by Brian Molepo / Simon and Mary SS15 shot by Nico Krijno / Portrait by Katinka Bester / ‘BestRand‘, a project by Hanro Havenga / Still from the Swishy Delta x Damascvs visual album / ‘Die Swart Kat’ by Willem Samuel / A poster by Cool Your Jets / Thor Rixon photographed by Katja Marr / Petite Noir’s ‘Chess’ music video / Fashion editorial by Steve Marais / 2BOP’s ‘Litephase 02‘ collection / Fashion film for AKEDO by Dolph & Lundgren / The interior of Hallelujah, an experimental Asian kitchen in CT / ‘Front Runners‘, a fashion story inspired by a 60s dance film / Portrait by Angela Buckland / Selfi, the fashion label of Celeste Arendse / John Wizard’s ‘Muizenburg’ cover and video by Sebastian Borckenhagen / ‘Everything Was Better Yesterday‘, a photo series by Romy Maxime / Rayne’s SS14 capsule collection / #NowPlaying: ‘Make Me Feel Nostalgic‘ by Ruschka du Toit
The trend: BODY PARTS
Eyes, lips, hands, legs and a few of the more cheeky and unglamorous bits in between – the human body was high on the creative radar this year. Ulrich Knoblauch captured his fair share photographing the brilliant details of New York and Paris fashion weeks, and we shared a handful of of hand-filled jewellery lookbooks too. Pastelheart‘s signature voluptuous painted lips pout all over the streets of Durban, while Lucie de Moyencourt‘s legs laze about on the beach in Seapoint, and Black Koki‘s artwork for ‘Future Positive’ stares back at us with googly eyes.
Fashion week captured by Ulrich Knoblauch /Artwork for ‘Future Positive’ by Black Koki / Illustrated eye pattern by Karabo Poppy Moletsane / Lips by street artist Pastelheart / Adriaan Kuiters + Jody Paulsen AW14 campaign / Painting by Georgina Gratrix / Photograph by Kent Andreasen / Illustration by Alice Edy / Dear Rae’s ‘Let’s Get Tropsi’ lookbook / Black and white portrait by Fundiswa Ntoyi / Henriette Botha SS15 ‘Summer in the City‘ / Black Betty lookbook photographed by Lar Rattray / ‘Texture Like Sun’ by Betina du Toit / Digital illustration by Anwar Davids / ‘The Kinfolk Series‘ photographed by Hannak Minkley / Portrait by Katinka Bester / The letter ‘B’ from the ‘Ubuzi’ type series by Frané Els / Cheeky photograph by Caroline Mackintosh / Tattoo artist Siya Nzama captured by Thommo Hart / Fashion editorial by Elford/De la Forêt / Book design for ‘The Erotic Drawings of Anton Kannemeyer’ by Gabrielle Guy / ‘Atlantic Seaboard‘ drawings by Lucie de Moyencourt
The trend: CONSTRUCTED
The artworks, photographs, collages and sculptures that fall under this trend aren’t necessarily united by subject matter or aesthetics; however they are all similar on a conceptual level. What they have in common is that (to varying degrees) each of them has been ‘constructed’. Nico Krijno is a master of this, taking mundane objects and organising them into bizarre arrangements which he either presents as physical objects, or as photographs. In his striking series ‘For What It’s Worth‘, Dillon Marsh combines photography and computer generated elements in an effort to visualise the output of a mine. Francois Knoetze creates characters using trash which become performance pieces, showing us that that what we throw away speaks volumes. And, on a less tangible note, Josh Ginsburg built an interactive web environment called ‘Black Maps‘ where participants are taken on a self-paced journey by clicking on images, audio files, videos and bits of text that present themselves in a swirling digital maze.
Nico Krijno for ‘Uncertain Terms‘ at Whatiftheworld / ‘For What It’s Worth‘ by Dillon Marsh / ‘Golden Age Rising‘, an exhibition of sculptures by Danielle Mooney / David Silberbauer‘s ancient temples / Sculpture by Michele Mathison / ‘Interknit II’ by Nomusa Makhubu / Thread installation by Pierre le Riche / ‘Master Mistress Of My Passion’ by Kendell Geers / ‘Field Note #20: Collision’ by Carla Leisching / Jenna Burchell‘s interactive installation, ‘Homing’ / ‘Oh Nationalism!’ by Rowan Smith / ‘Yield‘ by r1 in Braamfontein / Francois Knoetze, ‘Our Trash Speaks Volumes’ / PSYCHE by Tony Gum x The Expressionist / Layered photograph by Lakin Ogunbanwo / Josh Ginsburg’s mind bending ‘Black Maps‘ / ‘Con/Struct’ by Justin Plunkett / ‘Citadel’ series by Gaelen Pinnock / Installations at Afrika Burn / Sculpture by Ruann Coleman
The trend: PATTERNS, SHAPES, GEOMETRY, SYMMETRY
Whether real or imagined, the work we noticed here is all about order and balance. This is often found in nature which in turn inspires art or design – take, for example, Skinny la Minx’s fantastic ‘Paradise is Here‘ collection. Other times, we create our own geometry through things like mosaic (the Half Square team and Nando’s beautified CT storefronts with this) or through information design (which, thanks to Finn Fitzsimons’ ‘NumberPicture‘, is now do-able by the likes of you and I) and even through the way we arrange elements in the photographic frame to appear more ordered than they truly are. Two vibrant print-ful works this year came via Olivié Keck and Renee Rossouw in the form of magic carpets and liquorice patterns. Tzvi Karp, The Others and Gregor Jenkin prefer to keep things classic with neutrals and graphic lines in the fields of fashion, photography and furniture design.
‘Magic Carpet’ by Olivié Keck / Doreen Southwood at MeMeMe for Half Square / Photograph by Lindsay Hamlyn / The ‘Desert Rose’ locker by Egg Designs / From Nicole Levenberg‘s solo show at NIROX / Missshape x Thithi Nteta / Skinny la Minx ‘Paradise is Here‘ collection / ‘Migration’ by Gregor Jenkin / The ‘Geskulled’ Theory by Christi du Toit / ‘Noir! Noir! Noir!‘ by The Others / Painting by Yael Feldman / Lookbook for Black Betty by Lar Rattray / Okmalumkoolkat’s ‘Allblackblackkat’ music video / Fashion by Tzvi Karp / Chloë Reid‘s ‘Lake Series’/ Shaun Swainland’s ‘Ten Minute Type‘ / Jane Sews capsule collection / House of Cinnamon SS14 lookbook / Liquorice pattern by RR Studio / Information design by Finn Fitzsimons / From the series ‘Spaces’ by Gabriella Achadinha
The trend: FASHION MEETS ART
It’s always interesting when different creative disciplines inspire or play off one another, such as the case of fashion meets art or the alternate – art meets fashion. Relating to the former and fresh in our minds is the DADA and constructivist inspired Adriaan Kuiters + Jody Paulsen SS15 collection: a pairing of impeccable tailoring, fabrication, colour and print by designer Keith Henning and artist Jody Paulsen. Anmari Honiball‘s designs transcend trend and convention to flit gorgeously on the line between art and fashion, and her ‘Leela’ collection inspired Brett Rubin to create a series of layered photographs. Inspired by the works of surrealist René Magritte and the master of impossible reality M.C. Escher, the ‘FIGMENT‘ range by Black by Black Coffee explores the fun side of the sublime and the romance of duality. Looking into fashion-inspired art, perhaps the most fitting example is ‘Melusina’, a sculpture made out of acrylic nails by Frances Goodman in collaboration with fashion designer Suzaan Heyns. Billie Zangewa is another artist inspired by the aesthetics of fashion, as she constructs intricate tapestries using silk that could be mistaken for paintings. And, as a stellar example of how imaginative this merging of mediums can be, Capsule Projects presented ‘ART HOUSE‘: a collection of masks, visors, mouth-, head-, and eye-pieces designed by fifteen independently-minded artists.
Bold minimalism by Jenevieve Lyons / NOT x Chris Saunders, feat. Floyd Avenue / Poster for INCIPIT by Richard James Myburgh / ‘Melusina’ acrylic nail sculpture by Suzaan Heyns in collaboration with Frances Goodman / ‘Jeune Afrique‘ shot by Steve Marais / ‘L’afrique C’est Chic‘, an editorial for GQ Online by Chris Saunders / ‘Beach Bats IV’ by Michael Taylor, for his solo show ‘I Was Born Yesterday‘ / Ben Johnson for L’MAD Collection / Silk tapestry by Billie Zangewa / The off-kilter photographs of Lakin Ogunbanwo / ‘Doors of Perception’ collection by Suzaan Heyns / Lalesso’s resort 2015 collection / ‘ABCs for Child Entrepreneurs’ by Nicci Martin / The fashion of Anmari Honnibal / Superbalist’s classic tee x artist colab / Adriaan Kuiters + Jody Paulsen SS15 collection / Photo series by Brett Rubin, inspired by Anmari Honnibal’s ‘Leela’ collection / ANDREA•GWYNN x Broncolour x Photohire fashion film / ‘Approved Model of the New Azania‘ by Athi-Patra Ruga / ‘ART HOUSE‘, a collection of masks by Capsule Projects / A fashion-inspired instalment of Catherine Green’s daily illustration project / Hand-painted fashion by W3ST / Painterly fashion photography by Marguerite Oelofse / ‘FIGMENT‘ by Black by Black Coffee / Dreamy SS15 campaign images for MESO / Fashion photographs by Sven Kristian / Digital illustration by Lazi “Greiispaces” Mathebula / ‘Does This Suit Me?’, an Instabition by Phindile Thengeni
The trend: SURREAL
Our list of 2014 trends comes to a close in a different world entirely: one where things are simultaneously familiar and strange. We see lonely figures in Sarah Biggs‘ surreal painted landscapes, an other-worldly beauty wrapped in silver foil for a shoot by Caroline Mackintosh, and metallic spheres floating ominously in Fantasma’s debut music video for ‘Eye of the Sun‘. Inus Pretorius put his own wild imagination to work on a book of narrative illustrations, created to accompany W.E.G Louw’s poem ‘Adam’. In his series ‘N1 Highway’, David Southwood‘s peculiar eye translates his encounters while on the road into intriguing photographs. Filmmaker and photographer Wim Steytler imagines a post-apocalyptic Joburg CBD in his ongoing photo series; merging realism and surrealism in a way that’s starting to become his trademark. In fashion, things got eclectic electric with new fashion label OATH who launched a volatile collection that’s half fantasy, half reality. As a stylist, Pholoso Selebogo goes far beyond clothing to include avant garde sets and installation which are sometimes reminiscent of science experiments. Abstract photographs, mysterious silhouettes and wonderfully bizarre portraits join this collection of the surreal – giving us cause to question our reality and look at the world around us with new eyes.
‘Arid’ fashion film by Kent Andreasen and Tao-Farren Hefer / Surreal landscape paintings by Sarah Biggs / Shoot for Junk Magazine by Caroline Mackintosh / ‘Again and Again’ by Nina Torr / OATH’s AW15 photoshoot / Ink painting by Leigh Tuckniss / Still from ‘is i am sky’ by Dineo Bopape / Fantasma’s ‘Eye of the Sun’ music video / Brett Rubin for NIROX Projects / Styling by Pholoso Selebogo / Missshape x Yasmin Furmie / Album art for The Brother Moves On by Nolan Oswald Dennis / Photograph by Ross Garret for Darling / ‘Post Apocalyptic Schubart Park‘ by Herman Verwey / Watercolour illustration by Victoria Verbaan / ‘Inquietude II’ by Nomusa Makhubu / Narrative illustrations by Inus Pretorius / From the ‘Abjection’ series by Paris Brummer / Ongoing series of photographs by Wim Steytler / ‘N1 Highway’ by David Southwood
Have you noticed any other trends in art and design this year? Let us know in the comments!
Keep an eye out for more 2014 HIGHLIGHTS coming this week.