Fanie Buys: Happy Birthday Jesus!

Fanie Buys: Happy Birthday Jesus!

From September 26 to October 26, 2019, Loop 99, Cape town will present Happy Birthday Jesus! an exhibition of recent works by figurative South African artist Fanie Buys. Declaring Christmas to be Jesus’ birthday was one of the great joys of Fanie Buys’ childhood. For him, Christmas is a thing of fascination and adoration- the ritual of it, the domesticity, the theatre. This love for Christmas and its oddities has endured becoming the central focus of his most recent solo exhibition which features obscure Christmas scenes.

As with a particularly suspicious fruit cake, the artist has picked out and savoured his favourite ingredients of the holiday: dressing up, precocious children, failed gastronomy and underlying tension. Ultimately, Buys aims to rearrange the innocuousness of a secular family Christmas into something both off-putting and at the same time, alluring.

Fanie Buys explores replication and reciprocity through his figurative painting practice. Born in the hamlet of Hermanus in 1993, Buys graduated from the Michaelis School of Fine Art in 2016 and had his first solo exhibition at 99 Loop Gallery, Cape Town.

Fanie Buys: Happy Birthday Jesus! - Omenka Online

This painting is like that hellraiser cube thing but for the ATKV, 2019, oil on canvas, 20 x 25cm

Buys’ artistic process begins with a curatorial approach. He uses an emotional stimulus to construct a narrative for his work by drawing on the plethora of raw imagery that exists in the media and spaces around him. Buys’ paintings document pop culture, contemporary imagining of portraiture, space, place and ceremony as augmented by his own perspective.

Buys’ recent projects have focused primarily upon the buildings he has found himself in, the media he has been consuming and now, the cultural phenomenon of Christmas. As ongoing bodies of work, Buys hopes to amass a lexicon of paintings that create an autobiographical mood without being didactic (“sort of like the moment of clarity before the onset of a panic attack”).

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