I make paintings, videos, objects, installations and photographs that are observations of life / politics from a cultural and contemporary perspective. A gallery owner recently asked me to make beautiful paintings, so I made a crude animation of a man eating a creature that expanded in the man’s bowels, gorging him from the inside out...
My work engages with ideas around social structures and the genealogies of power and is partly informed by my experience of growing up in late apartheid South Africa which I view as a febrile place for contemplating the duality of structural change and entrenched social imbalances.
In recent paintings, the British Public schoolboy figure appears frequently as a symptomatic example of privilege, rampant individualism and hyper-privatization. In another series of works, titled 'Paradise No. 7 (lucky 4 Sum), I have printed out copies of the ‘Paradise Paper’ leaks that I have overdubbed with sketches populated with colour and pattern taken from both the pageantry of the British ‘public school’ system and Asafo Flags (made by military groups on the Ghanaian coast during the colonial era). These documents bring us back to the present-day reality of wealth locality and tax planning – dealing with sums so large that entire islands are financially fortified, obscured and defended.
In 2016, I launched Mosquito Lightning, an on-going collaborative art project. Modelled around a fictional company, Mosquito Lightning, evokes the present-day obsession with private policing in South Africa. The project explores the realities and absurdities related to an industry many have come to accept as part of their every-day. The project came from research conducted into the private security industry. We engage with firms, undergo training regimes, and appropriate real-life identity and marketing to create our own fictional company. A chapter on the project will be included in an upcoming, 2021, University of Michigan publication by Professor Martin Murray which addresses crime, policing and technology in Johannesburg.