Fanie Buys: This Man

Fanie Buys: This Man

From January 31 to February 24, 2018, 99 Loop, Cape Town will present This Man, an exhibition of paintings by South African artist Fanie Buys.

His recent body of work, ‘Sincerely, with Love’, serves as a farewell to his childhood. The words unite a series of paintings, video works and text pieces that look at who the artist is now, how he got to where he is, and how he coped with the process.

Buy’s dynamic paintings memorialize pop culture icons in thick, quick brushstrokes; treating each subject with a distinctive intimacy. His repertoire of recurring subjects includes Princess Diana, Eartha Kitt, and Jackie O. His textual artworks comprise of T-shirts and mugs, emblazoned with intimate confessions in plain typography. More often than not, they pose questions or statements, touching on topics like relationships, romantic love and self-consciousness.

This Man features portraits selected from family photographs and celebrity tabloids, in reference to Buys’s inner confrontation with the looming acquaintance he both seeks to impress and ignore in the process of unashamedly becoming himself: “This is a man I hate, and a man I hate with an especial glee because I find him incredibly attractive. These are not paintings of this man. I would never paint this man. I just told you I hate him.”

The artist’s depiction of popular culture in rough painterly brushwork references the subjectivity through which we are doomed to view not only other people but also ourselves. He writes, ‘This man may not study the humanities, but carries the aura of someone who often makes clever remarks in literature lectures. Most of the time he is not there. You bump into him at a party or a bar. You are spilling your drink all over yourself in the style of Evelyn Waugh in your bid for escape because you can’t believe you actually spoke to him..’

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