Lizamore’s new and emerging visual artists

New Voices III showcases two new and emerging visual artists: Karlien de Villiers and Thonton Kabeya.

New Voices III, Lizamore & Associates’ annual year-end exhibition, will open on 27 November. Every year Lizamore presents a dynamic exhibition by showcasing the work of a wide range talented, new and emerging visual artists. This year the gallery selected two new and emerging visual artists namely Thonton Kabeya and Karlien de Villiers. Although these artists have exhibited both in Europe and South Africa, New Voices III offers them the opportunity to be introduced to the Johannesburg market. This exhibition will be opened by Chris Thurman, journalist and art writer.

Thonton Kabeya mainly depicts young children affected by the genocide in central Africa. “My work revolves around the fragility of humankind, and children in particular. My concept is summed up as follows: from fragility to power or from power to fragility, metamorphosis of creation” explains Kabeya. Kabeya’s exploration of portraits of children began during the rainy season in Congo. Working in watercolour, the artist allows streams of water to freely flow over his portraits, resulting in the distortion and deconstruction of his models. “The portraits are exposed… some of them are emptied of their colour or a face half destroyed by rain or water resulting in the canvasses becoming white again – with only traces of pencil sketching, much like the traces of the bullets after the passage of an army… just a souvenir…”

Thonton Kabeya was born in 1983, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Currently, he lives and works between the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Africa. Kabeya has since 2007 participated in numerous exhibitions in Africa and Europe. After his residency at the Bag Factory, Johannesburg, Kabeya decided to stay in South Africa to pursue his career as a visual artist.

Karlien de Villiers’ latest body of work explores the values and moral ambiguities of South African suburbia, and treats the human and its relationships as a site of aftermath. She explores human existence as a site of connection and loneliness. The tragedy of such an existence, she suggests, is our own inability to find comfort in the moment and in the people we share our lives with. Despite the seeming simplicity of the subject matter and the straightforward titles, these works suggest the human and his or her social existence to be anything but effortless. While a pervading sense of melancholy set the scene for these disastrous scenarios, de Villiers’s work is saturated with humour, suggesting an emotional landscape that is never as clear or stable as we imagine it to be in real life.

Born 22 December 1975 in Cape Town, South Africa, Karlien de Villiers studied Graphic Design and Illustration at Stellenbosch University. Having published short stories in Bittercomix, De Villiers has written a graphic novel; Meine Mutter war eine schöne Frau and is currently working on her second graphic novel. She regularly exhibits both locally and internationally in group exhibitions. Her work is widely sought after and has been collected by private, corporate and museum collectors from all over the world.

The exhibition opens at 18h00 on Thursday 27 November and ends on 29 January 2015 at Lizamore & Associates, 155 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood.

Please join us at the opening for drinks and to meet the artists.

Gallery hours:
Tuesday – Friday 10h00 – 17h00
Saturday 10h00 – 15h00

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