Charity Vilakazi
Charity Vilakazi

A Fresh Canvas: Kalashnikovv Gallery Debuts on Cape Town’s Art Scene

The Cape Town art scene welcomed a new player into its fold yesterday, as Kalashnikovv Gallery unveiled its latest branch on Loop Street.

Hailing from Johannesburg, Kalashnikovv has been a prominent figure in the city’s art landscape for the past decade, stirring conversations and championing emerging talents. Now, with its expansion to the Mother City, it brings with it a reputation for pushing boundaries and fostering socio-political dialogue through art.

Administered and curated  by cultural catalysts M.J Turpin and Matthew Dean Dowdle, Kalashnikovv Gallery has carved a niche for itself by representing a diverse array of artists, ranging from up-and-coming visionaries to established luminaries. However, it’s their commitment to nurturing emerging talents that has garnered particular acclaim. As Petra Mason of The Sunday Times aptly put it, Kalashnikovv Gallery introduces the ‘bad boys’ of the art world, provocateurs whose curatorial choices challenge conventions and provoke thought.

Boemo Diale Alone & Unafraid, 2024. Mixed Media On Canvas. 160 X 120 X 50 Cm
Boemo Diale Alone & Unafraid, 2024. Mixed media on canvas. 160 x 120 x 50 cm.png

One such success story is Boemo Diale, whose trajectory exemplifies Kalashnikovv’s ethos of supporting underrepresented artists. Backed by the gallery, Diale recently clinched the coveted Tomorrow’s/Today Prize at the Investec Cape Town Art Fair, solidifying her position as a rising star in the contemporary art scene. Her work takes centre stage in the gallery’s inaugural group exhibition, “Refuse the Given World,” currently on display at its new Cape Town address.

The decision to expand to Cape Town was a strategic one for Kalashnikovv, driven by a desire to tap into the city’s vibrant artistic landscape and forge connections with local talents. As Turpin explains, “An edge and dynamism that can only be found from a gallery that originates from Johannesburg” is what they aim to bring to Cape Town’s art scene.

Located at 61 Loop Street in the heart of the CBD, Kalashnikovv Gallery’s new outpost signifies more than just a physical space; it symbolises a commitment to fostering collaboration, instigation, and integration within the local art community. 

The gallery’s inaugural exhibition is a testament to this ethos, showcasing works that reflect the contemporary moment – a world in flux, where artists serve as storytellers, illuminating the complexities of our shared human experience.

With an eclectic lineup of artists including Black Koki, Conrad Botes, Senzeni Marasela, and Roger Ballen, among others, Kalashnikovv Gallery’s debut exhibition promises to captivate and challenge audiences alike. As the gallery sets its sights on a new chapter in Cape Town, it invites art enthusiasts to join them on this journey of exploration and discovery.

Kalashnikovv Gallery’s Loop Street location marks not just the beginning of a new venture, but a continuation of its longstanding commitment to pushing artistic boundaries and amplifying diverse voices.

In a world grappling with uncertainty, art remains a beacon of hope and a catalyst for change – a sentiment echoed in the vibrant tapestry of works on display at Kalashnikovv’s newest home.

For those eager to experience the cutting-edge of contemporary art, “Refuse the Given World” beckons, inviting viewers to immerse themselves in a world where imagination knows no bounds and creativity reigns supreme. Catch it now at 61 Loop Street, Cape Town.