Title: South African Artists at Home
Author: Paul Duncan;
Photographer: Alain Proust
Publisher: Penguin Random House South Africa
Imprint: Struik Lifestyle
Cape Town, South Africa 2015
ISBN 9781432301958 / ISBN 978-1-4323-0195-8
Hardcover, 23 x 23 cm, 192 pages, 200 photographs
South African Artists at Home offers a glimpse behind the public exhibitions and gallery showings into the private worlds of some very private people who, while icons of the country's art world, are also internationally acclaimed. What makes this book about a random collection of artists, and the homes they live in, so interesting and relevant is that each person in it is an artist working right now in South Africa. There are painters, conceptual artists, a photographer, a ceramicist. They're represented by some of South Africa's most important galleries, among them Brundyn+, Erdmann Contemporary, Stellenbosch Modern and Contemporary Art Gallery (SMAC), Stevenson and Whatiftheworld. Most of them are established; all of them are respected and collected, right now. Each makes an individual statement, and belongs within the current debates around art and the context it comes from.
For the most part, readers of this book who are art lovers will recognise the names and be aware of their work. This was not an easy book to put together. People who'd agreed to be in at first, were subsequently unavailable, causing my cast list to vary wildly from one week to the next. Then, just when I thought I'd struck a balance between so-called 'struggle artists' and those not making art for the revolution, it all came unstuck. As a reader, you may have your own view on the checks and balances underpinning this book. If you do, tell me about them, but be gentle. South African Artists at Home is not art discourse; it's not a mirror of the country's art scene. What it does offer up, though, is an insight into the relationship between making art and the daily life of an artist in their domestic space.
Sanell Aggenbach and Brett Murray
Barend de Wet