What do painters do all day?

»When I first received the invitation to this exhibition I thought I would perhaps see an array of paraphernalia of what amuses artists when they are at home chilled and not occupied with the uncertain nature of the visual art object. After all can one really work all day long without rest? As an artist, unless you are employed in a dimly lit sweatshop, there must be something else that occupies you during your art practice on any given day. I walked away from my viewing of the exhibition fortified in the idea that artists wrestle all day long with making art; even when they are suppose to be taking a breather«

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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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