Intraparadox Interview With Taiwo Olugbemega Ohu

» On the 23 of May 2016 I sat down with Taiwo Ohu against the background of his exhibition at the Pretoria Art Museum at that time. He spoke to me about his training, the challenges that face in the crises of lack of traditional art making material and his then upcoming exhibition which was meant to erect international good relations between South Africa and Nigeria

 

Interview with Mxolisi Vusimuzi Beauchamp (Part III)

Location: Pretoria Art Museum, Tshwane, South Africa

Date: Tuesday 17 February 2015 at 09:00

Part Three:

Identity /Ideology Bamboozled

 

Mmutle. So would you say the idea of identity in terms of the content of the work started to take shape somewhere during this period, as you were exposed to the work of Spike Lee in comparison to the work of John Singleton?

Vusi. There was another artist, an English-Nigerian who used Elephant dung in his artworks. I forget his name. But like in identity, interrogating the idea of identity you know in the arts Spike Lee’s ‘Bamboozled’ sort of put at rest my anger towards the way blacks were excluded. You know that movie it made sense in a way that entertainment and such things were not something that was reserved for black people in a way. Entertainment wise it was mocking them. That was the entertainment industry and I just wanted to find a way for escaping or teaching [myself] or finding a way to express my anger through specifying that there is a difference between an artist and a black artist. They are two different things.

Mmutle. You mean the difference between a white artist…?

Vusi. No-no, the difference between an artist and a black artist. You know if you are black you are not an artist you are a ‘black artist’. So there is that thing…

[Mmutle. So you are not an artist pure – you are a black artist.]

Vusi. That’s what helped me to interrogate this thing. I have always saw myself as an artist…

Mmutle. And now this dichotomy of

Beauchamp, Mxolisi Vusimuzi. New Industry, 2015. Mixed Media.

Beauchamp, Mxolisi Vusimuzi. New Industry, 2015. Mixed Media.

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Interview with Mxolisi Vusimuzi Beauchamp (Part II)

Location: Pretoria Art Museum, Tshwane, South Africa

Date: Tuesday 17 February 2015 at 09:00

 Part Two:

Intellectual Rebellion/No holes on the Walls

Mmutle. You’ve now moved into an interesting period where you are now studying at University level, at Tshwane University of Technology. If you were to compare your training at Tshwane University of Technology and your exposure to fine arts at high school. What were the differences in these two institutionS?

Vusi. There is a difference, the difference was that in high school I was left to my own devices to achieve freedom that I had and I was passing, I was marked for doing what I was doing naturally. With TUT they were teaching me techniques now, that’s the first time I explored oils, you know, and I was taught how to mix, using oils and the techniques, and applying oil and all those sorts of things and exploring different dimensions that I’ve never experimented with as in using acrylic paints to oil, actually layering the artwork – scumbling and [the] glazing of the artwork. I really enjoyed the paintings of Rembrandts, the van Gogh style, the Vermeer, Dutch painters and stuff. Well, like I said we were exposed mostly to the Europeans [artists]

Mmutle. Of course

Vusi. Style of painting a subject in a way a still life and figurative type of thing…

Mmutle. Did it bode well to you that your training at Tshwane University of Technology tended to focus more on Western Art than it exposed you to African Art or South African Art?

Beuchamp, Mxolisi Vusimuzi. The Future, 2015. Mixed Media.

Beuchamp, Mxolisi Vusimuzi. The Future, 2015. Mixed Media.

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Interview with Mxolisi Vusimuzi Beauchamp (Part I)

Location: Pretoria Art Museum, Tshwane, South Africa

Date: Tuesday 17 February 2015 at 09:00

 Part One:

Childhood and Exposure to Arts Education

 

Mmutle Arthur Kgokong: Good morning Vusi Beauchamp, thanks for giving me the opportunity to interview you.

Mxolisi Vusimuzi Beauchamp: Thanks Mr. Mmutle

Mmutle AK: I just want us to start a little bit at the beginning of your life, when were you born?

Mxolisi VB: 1979 the third of May

MAK: and where did you grow up?

MVB: I grew up in Mamelodi Pretoria and I spent most of life there.

Mmutle: So you are a Pretorian

Vusi. Yes, I was made in Pretoria (Jokes)

Mmutle. (Laughs), if you can just tell me about your early childhood experiences. What was it like growing up in Mamelodi?

Mxolisi Vusimuzi Beauchamp at work. Image source, the artist facebook profile.

Beauchamp at work on The Great Maestro. Image source, the artist facebook profile.

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Interview with Senzo Njabulo Shabangu (Part Two): Towards a Concrete Concept

Location: LL Editions Fine Art Printing, The Bag Factory, Johannesburg, South Africa

Date: Friday 28 November 2014 at 09:00

 

 

Senzo Njabulo Shabangu I came to Johannesburg with a dream to become a pilot. I spent close to six months looking for academies. Ai I think it was really tough because I applied for bursaries as my father couldn’t afford to pay for the course  because it’s very very expensive. So I was in Johannesburg for six months up until my older brother and Robben Smith, the owner of the house in Kensington, one day asked me why I don’t look for an art school since I drew every day instead of wasting my time to become a pilot.

Mmutle AK. So now, here we are moving into a situation whereby you are actually coming into contact with art formally.

Senzo NS. so they just ask me that question ‘why don’t you

Mmutle. pursue art?

Senzo. …pursue art, Yes, it was like they just opened up something for me. The following day they advise me to walk around Newtown and check Art Schools en go to UJ (University of Johannesburg) to check if I can apply for a fine art qualification. I woke up, came to town, went to Newtown. But before I found my way to Newtown I had to start at Carlton Center. At Carlton I met a group of artists by chance drawing in the open space. They also had an exhibition as well. I spoke to them about my interest in an art career and they told me that there were some art classes offered by the Johannesburg Art Gallery on Fridays and Thursdays. I went there to enquire, but it was easy, the moment you arrive there they just said ‘sit down’ and gave you paper to start drawing….

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Interview with Senzo Njabulo Shabangu (Part One): Today, Tomorrow, Everyday

Location: LL Editions Fine Art Printing, The Bag Factory, Johannesburg, South Africa

Date: Friday 28 November 2014 at 09:00

Mmutle Arthur Kgokong: Well I just want to thank you Senzo for giving me the time to talk to you especially here in the studio, not at your home where you will be bombarded with house chores (jokingly).

Senzo Njabulo Shabangu: (laughs) true

Mmutle AK: Yah, here it’s much better because it is your work space.

Senzo NS: Yes we can, …I understand, we can…

Mmutle: At the moment you are here at The Bag Factory neh?

Senzo: Yes

MAK: You are working on a new body of work? Tell me what is the work about actually in terms of the content of what you are dealing with for this new body of work?

Senzo. It’s like, I have been dealing a lot with issues of Joburg pressure because to me it is easy to realize that pressure the city has. So since I came here (in) 2006 I have been feeling that pressure like …at home when you are in the city they have their own expectations and as an artist it is also difficult. It is difficult for everyone the way a city designed because it’s got that pressure and for me as someone who comes outside of the city it’s easy for me to feel that pressure.

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Tshepo Mosopa’s Seemo Sa Boraro (Third Class)

Seemo sa Boraro

Seemo sa Boraro

One thing that Art cannot separate itself from it’s the experience of its maker. Without experience art cannot be. It cannot spring out of a void and say something, it has to be a part of a particular reality to hold its ground. That anchorage, that experience is emphatically intertwined with the life of the artist. Art is a reportage, it is a reportage of a one point perspective of the artist as he or she goes through life. But unlike less gifted majority of the members of our society the artist is able, through his craft, to beam to the world their unique experiences in pictorial format just as a fiction writer is able to relate their experience through fiction as a metaphor of the real world. Such is the nature of Seemo Sa Boraro 2008. It is a report on the cramped space experienced by public transport users in South Africa. But what is profound about this artwork is that it is not just a vision that the artist as a shaman retrieves from the spiritual dimension or causal realm. The artwork represents the lived-real experience of the artists, Tshepo Mosopa.

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