6 artwork highlights from Joburg Art Fair 2017

The opening of the Joburg Art Fair on Thursday night, was lit. Literally. Driving into the Sandton Convention Centre visitors to the art fair saw cars ablaze. What we initially thought to be an art installation, was later revealed as the result of the deadly Uber and meter taxi wars in the city.

Art meets politics. And the burning cars set the tone for some of work at this weekend’s art fair — its 10th anniversary — which reflected and/or spoke to the climate of the world today.

From politics to identity, economics and gender, the fair featured works that engaged with a wide variety of topics, and art types, such as installation, visual art, photography, performance and more. Among pieces that were lost on us, there were a few that caught our eye. Here are some selects from 10and5’s Nikki Zakkas and Stefanie Jason.

Kudzanai-Violet Hwami

Who: Kudzanai-Violet is a Zimbabwean-born, London-based artist
“Her work is a celebration of Afro-punk, LGBTQ, and internet sub-cultures, shot through with witty political commentary.”
Artwork: Diptych titled, Mamoyo on astro B-612, 2017. Oil on paper.
Gallery: Tyburn Gallery

(Courtesy of Tyburn Gallery)


Who: Hoick is an amorphous art collective from Cape Town
Artwork: Hoick’s entire show at Smith Gallery, titled Shall We Move On, which was curated by Dale Lawrence and Claire Johnson of the collective. The collection features tapestries, ceramics, paintings and more.
Gallery: Smith

Dada Khanyisa

Who: Dada Khanyisa is a Johannesburg raised and Cape Town-based artist that uses numerous mediums.
My visual interests are invested in texture and multiple dimensions; as a result I create sculptural paintings and relate-able objects. The visuals I create are centered on people and the activities and habits they adopt to keep themselves busy, fed, warm and happy.” – Dada
Artwork: Yaphel’imali (2017). Acrylic and mixed media on wood.
Gallery: Stevenson Gallery

(Courtesy of Stevenson Gallery)

Hank Willis Thomas

Who: Hank Willis Thomas is a New York City-based conceptual artist working primarily with themes related to identity, history and popular culture.
Artwork: Successful Woman / Angry Men (2010), Yellow neon.
Gallery: Goodman Gallery

(Courtesy of Goodman Gallery)

Lady Skollie

Who: Lady Skollie is a Cape Town-born and Johannesburg-based feminist artist.
“The artist uses ink, watercolour and crayon to create playfully sexual paintings, filled with bright colours, symbolic fruit, and all the joy and darkness of the erotic.”
Artwork: Everything in her solo show, titled Fire With Fire, comprising visual art pieces and performance.
Gallery: Tyburn Gallery

At the End of Our Tether They Will Beg for Forgiveness Collectively at Our Feet, 2017. (Courtesy of Tyburn Gallery).

Jody Paulsen

Who: Jody Paulsen is an award-winning artist based in Cape Town. Jody’s mediums comprise of felt collages, photographic works and sculptural installations.
“Often appropriating ostentatious iconography from popular culture, such as packaging, branding, patterns and slogans, Paulsen’s eye-popping creative output sequesters, multiplies and reassembles the conventions of consumer-society, offering viewers a glimpse of a far more individualised, and fluid identity.” — SMAC Gallery
 Fag Hags (2017). Felt collage.
Gallery: SMAC Gallery

(Courtesy of SMAC Gallery)



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