His eyes took the scene in. He saw a woman walking into the picture plane from the left with a flat huge bowl balanced on her head. She was about to cross paths with a Reverend in dressed in black complete with a hat from whose right hand a walking cane issued. Just behind them two men, while on a stroll were talking. One of them who was wearing a white shirt seem animated as his right hand stretched out to emphasise what he was saying to his companion. Just behind the pair was a man who seemed like a labourer entering the scene from the top right pushing a wheelbarrow. Moje’KJoe noted that should one draw a line between the woman entering the scene from the bottom left of the viewer, the one with a flat container on her head, and the Reverend; they will experience a perfect straight line. However when that line is extended to the two men taking a stroll the line will extend from the Reverend diagonally even if its straightness can be maintained until it reached the man pushing the wheel barrow. The man pushing the wheel barrow cannot take this line further since the wall behind him delimits the line’s extension in this direction. The line dies here or rather it acutely changes direction here. Besides the direction of the wheelbarrow and the man move the eyes back into the picture plane.
Now as I jot this article that artwork has evolved from being an aggravating work praised as brave and avant-garde to a vandalized artwork following two men who entered the gallery, apparently total strangers to each other, and took turns defacing the painting. While the white man crossed both the face and the genitalia with red paint the black man smeared black paint both on the face, part of the right side of the figure and the genitalia area. While the black man who vandalized the artwork after the white man was the first to be arrested the white man almost fled the gallery uncaught if it weren’t for the press that pointed out he should be also be arrested. I shall stop here with this description of the work and the incident surrounding its defacing lest I lose sight of what I am concerned with here. But I wish to venture that the artwork now has attained a state of a performance piece with the added actions of the two men. Though defaced, it has not lost its gravity as offensive and vulgar. It has now being relegated to a pseudo avant-garde by bourgeois standards but far from kitsch considering its genesis and the new meaning it is pregnant with.
Let us acknowledge that once the artwork goes public and holds its attention the artist is grabbling with external stimuli however the mode within which the artist is grappling with the issues concern shifts and heightens from personal to public. When the ground on which he operates shifts and heightens unfortunately for him He is no longer a private person entitled to their personal views, he speaks to the people for the people. The artist is no longer on a personal journey but he has harnessed the interests of the people. Positively he will be seen as endorsing the interests of those whose values he upholds and negatively he has taken a confrontational stance towards those who are opposed to the ideals reflected in his work. By hook or crook he now represents the ideals of a particular group of the society within which his practicing exists. He is positioned.
Arriving in Gauteng - Tshwane in the new century Matlou hailed from Polokwane in Ga-Sekgopo district. His plans initially were to study Finance and accounting at Tshwane University of Technology (then Pretoria Technical College). With minimum training in the visual art received from sessions attended at a community based art project Matlou left the institution in middle of his second year level to pursue a full time career as an artist.
According to Tristan Tzara ‘In art, Dada reduces everything to an initial simplicity, growing always more relative. It mingles its caprices with the chaotic wind of creation and barbaric dances of savage tribes (Chipp 1968: 386). This is indeed true of figure 1. The composition is simple and it looks like anyone who is not an artist might have produced the artwork.
An exhibition’s core aim, never mind the content of the artworks, is to bring a body of work, executed by different or the same artist, into one space and create a dialogue between the artworks – this is also subordinate to the content of the work forming the exhibition; meaning the vision of what the overall feel of the exhibition should be is a huddle that must be negotiated by the artworks to be entered into the competition.