Gallery Momo will be showcasing Vivien Kohler’s latest solo exhibition ‘r3: FORM4re’, until 6 July 2019.
Vivien Kohler, a mixed media artist residing in Johannesburg, has exhibited at art fairs and group shows across South Africa and the world, with his work touching on issues of homelessness, poverty and the plight of impoverished people in South Africa.
For this particular exhibition, Kohler used discarded materials and paint to explore the idea that everyone is searching for home within themselves and that there is, in fact, a cultural homelessness that we all experience as South Africans.
I am fascinated both by the ability of the human spirit to transcend ‘the conceptual decay’, and the unique liminality of the post-apartheid South African city. My works illuminate the contrasts of lived experiences by showing people mentally cocooned from, yet physically enveloped by, life’s detritus. I incorporate, cast, and paint discarded packaging material as a signifier of transience, migration, and displacement of people on the ‘periphery.’
Each of Kohler’s subjects are people who are facing seemingly insurmountable odds in their everyday lives, which is why he takes great care to give them the dignity they deserve. However, instead of placing all of the focus on homelessness, Kohler wants to instill feelings of hope and home.
Cardboard boxes, as commonly used by homeless people to create shelter and a bit of comfot, is used thematically in ‘r3: FORM4re’. Upon closer inspection, viewers will see that the cardboard isn’t just cardboard but a combination of painting, print and an artistically sophisticated response to these issues.