South African Artists Celebrate African Myths & Storytelling In Cape Town Exhibition

A 5-day exhibition at Worldart Gallery in Cape Town celebrates African myths and storytelling through the work of 7 South African artists.

Opening today at Worldart Gallery in Cape Town, Myths Recreated is a group exhibition that aims to celebrate African myths and storytelling through the work of seven artists from Cape Town and Johannesburg. "The theme for the exhibition is storytelling, because we believe that African stories reflect back into society’s beliefs and values," artist and co-host Karabo Makenna told us over email. "But while the myths of many cultures are only carefully preserved relics, African myths and legends are still a meaningful part of everyday life and we should embrace them even more," he added.

Running for five days, the exhibition is the brainchild of Art of Brother, a joint venture between Cobus Engelbrecht and Makenna. The artists showing their work include Fuzzy SlippersNolan Dennis, Thandiwe TshabalalaDarren Christian, Russell Abrahams, Karabo Makenna (Art of Brother), and Cobus Engelbrecht (Art of Brother).

In the lead-up to the show, the seven participating artists were asked to recreate two stories that the organizers selected as artworks. "The myths we chose deal with universal themes, such as the origin of the world and the fate of the individual after death," explains a description on the exhibition's Facebook event.

The Art of Brother team also commissioned a pair of promo posters (one of which you can see above) that Makenna says use a number of elements that tie into the show's overall theme. "The main elements were two masks that we created," he says. "These masks, which will also be on display during the exhibition, were shot for the poster images. We had our model pose with the masks in a forest scene, dressed in a floral pattern outfit from the new Puma range, ‘House of Hackney’, to emphasize the flora theme." Additionally, designer and illustrator Altus Brand has created a series of animated portraits of the participating artists, which you can see below.

Myths Recreated is on view at Worldart Gallery in Cape Town 31 July through 5 August. Find out more details here.

Poster Credits:

Model: Mikhail Gany

Photographer: Darren Wilson

Production: Karabo Makenna & Cobus Engelbrecht

Art Director & Styling: Karabo Makenna & Cobus Engelbrecht

Retoucher: Spencer Holmes

Illustrator: Altus Brand

Clothing: Puma SA

Wallpaper: Franco Moz for Robin Sprong Wallpapers

Image courtesy of Peintre Obou.

Ivorian Artist Peintre Obou Speaks on Expression Through His Masked Characters

Peintre Obou talks about how he came to be an artist, his fervour for the mask, and his uplifting project, 'Abobo E Zo'.

Gbais Obou Yves Fredy better known as Peintre Obou is an Ivorian artist whose work is centered around the political-military crisis in his home. To date, his career has been an exploration of his passion for the human condition and the traumas he has experienced as a result of human-orchestrated disasters. He goes as far as highlighting life in the slums and the individuals who opened their arms to him in the lowly communes of Abidjan. He distinctively distorts the faces of his subjects with masks and places vibrant colors upon their bodies as he weaves tales of war, trauma, suffering, and oppression.

Last summer, the Ivorian commune of Abobo underwent renovation in a project titled, Abobo E Zo commissioned by the Minister Hamed Bakayoko. Not only were downtrodden areas within the community rehabilitated and sanitized but multiple buildings around the populous commune were painted to the delight of residents. It was street art set on enlightening a disadvantaged community piloted by Obou with help from hundreds of crafty volunteers.

This interview was conducted in French and has been translated and edited for length and clarity.

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