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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

UNDER THESE SKIES (article first published : 2008-08-31)

Under these Skies is an exhibition by two exciting young graphic artists, Senyol and Wesley van Eeden, which opens at Gallery 415 on September 6 at 19h00.

The concept behind the exhibition is to reflect the good things about South Africa. The exhibition forms part of the "Hope Project”, an initiative designed to spread optimism and positivity.

Both artists come from a graphic design background – and their work embraces street art, found objects, typography and illustration. The work is colourful, detailed and beautifully crafted – bringing to mind the whimsy of Joan Miro along with the loose and playful canvases of New York pioneer Jean-Michel Basquiat.

The New York art scene of the late ‘70’s, from which Basquiat emerged, forms an interesting parallel to these two fine artists. Both began in a cultural melting pot, and both helped collapse the divide between “High Art” and the street, intellectual and pop, black and white. In a similar way, these two artists display a freshness and energy that comes from their eclectic influences.

Wesley studied at Technikon Natal. His work is committed to presenting a positive view of life in South Africa. It embraces South Africa’s cultural richness and ethnic diversity through the medium of graphic design. He explores a range of techniques – including digital light boxes, paintings on found objects, traditional box mounted frames, vinyl stickers as well as T-Shirts and caps.

Cape Town’s Senyol similarly has a wide range of influences, underlied by rich philosophical musings. He explores the relationship between the individual and the group, as well as biblical themes and social issues – such as the meaning, comprehension and interpretation of beauty, love, hope and peace. To do this, he uses an array of found objects from the city and “countryscape”. Graphic, colourful, detailed, eclectic and thought-provoking, his work is both decorative and imbued with meaning.

The young artists will be exhibiting their work at Gallery 415 after a string of successful group exhibitions in Cape Town, Pretoria, Johannesburg, Jerusalem, Mexico, USA and Germany.

Under these Skies runs from September 6 to 26. Gallery 415 is situated at 415 Umgeni Road. Further information on 031 309 6403.




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