Artist Statement

My artistic venture is a recent one of rediscovery after concentrating on my advertising career for the past 20 years.

I predominantly work in the digital format - my process largely influenced and based upon traditional oil painting techniques.

(in)Limbo Series

I have always been surrounded and inspired by the works of The Old Masters, due to the providence that my father was born and raised in the town of Caravaggio, Italy. Hence Michelangelo Merisi’s figurative works having a massive influence in guiding my generally macabre visual and emotive sensibilities from a young age.

My desire is to use the figure as a narrative and emotive vehicle in an attempt to capture evocative allegories within a single image. My foremost goal is to elicit some emotion from the viewer - one that interrupts and challenges the mundanity of our everyday, indoctrinated complacency.

The source of these emotions I attempt to convey come from ones that I personally rollercoaster through on a daily basis - ranging from the overarching questioning of our existence, to my vacillation between being both fascinated and incensed at the mortality of the human body and the endless complexities of the psyche.

My modus operandi has come to involve juxtaposing opposing ideas to create tension. Through the discrepancy and contradiction of visuals and concept I attempt to evoke a polarity of emotive responses from a singular image. Often, I attempt to achieve these contradictions by presenting expected archetypal visuals or themes, juxtaposed against unexpected and, at times, bizarre elements or situations. I am searching for the conflict between the physical being versus the psyche.

Subject matter is not for the sake of absurdist or surreal intentions, but rather to provoke honest reactions.

The crux is that I want my work to fire-up my own emotions. To make the viewer smile, but in awkward discomfort. To touch upon some feeling that is dear to them. To question why.

I don’t know if my work can ever meet my intentions, but I have to start somewhere.

Bio

I was born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1975.

I studied Graphic Design at The Technikon of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg and started work in the advertising industry in 1997 as an art director and designer, both locally and abroad, for over 7 years. In 1998 I came third at the Cannes Lions Young Creatives award and the following year, achieved second place at the Cannes Lions Young Creative Awards in France (as an art director).

In 2001 I moved into the production side of advertising and began directing television commercials in South Africa. My commercial work came first, and third in the 2005 CFP-Shots Young Director Award at Cannes. I currently work for Egg Films in Johannesburg.

I go by the monikers of “Slim” in the ad industry and “Skraal” as an artist - as, well…I’m built like a walking skeleton.

I have become fairly proficient at juggling work and creating art. Kind of. Sometimes…

Group Exhibitions

2015 - Paper Planes Exhibition at the Cape Town Design Indaba - “ñ Somers Aand”.

2015 - The Bright Night Project - “Selfinflictedspagbowl” - a group show staged in the dark and lit by patrons carrying Little Sun lamps, an initiative to raise awareness for the underpriveleged living without access to electricity.