FRINGE: The Very Definition
06 – 29 April 2017
at Daville Baillie Gallery, 1st Floor, The Factory on Grant, 72 Grant Avenue, Norwood
In the mixed media works of the graffiti-inspired artist known simply as Fringe the world’s most recognizable figures and figureheads are given a surprisingly playful makeover.
In the forthcoming exhibition Fringe: The very definition, at the Daville Baillie Gallery from 6th April to 29th April, we find pop stars, movie stars, historical heroes and logos in a style that brings the city walls into the gallery space.
These familiar signs override the fact that the artist does not wish to be known. By remaining anonymous, Fringe wants you to view his work without the trappings of personal ambition, to view celebrity as a charade of depersonalized color cutouts.
Without him in the picture, it is his renderings of Mahatma Gandhi, Queen Elizabeth, Jack Nicholson, The Beatles, Star Wars, Warhol’s silkscreened banana and reinterpreted Coca Cola logos that remain. He urges you to rearrange – or ‘de-arrange’ your head, to mentally digest his random journey through the pop culture of the 20th Century.
Born in 1976 in Johannesburg, Fringe was educated in the Natal Midlands, after which he studied design at the Red & Yellow school of advertising in Cape Town. After plying his trade with various agencies, in 2003 he shifted his focus to the contemporary arts seeking its fundamental objectivity in the art space.
After enjoying over a decade of success locally, in 2015 he decided to go to New York to absorb an alternate train of thought. Having gained an understanding of the importance of communication through street art, in 2016 he returned to South Africa to begin focusing on putting a message out through his work.
Why Fringe? He says, “I find it amusing that every woman working in the art space has one – one of those weird fringes.” But on a more serious note, the local art market seems, to him, to sit on the outskirts or fringes of the mainstream art world — save for a handful of conspicuously famous individuals.
He states, “I want the work to be a constant reminder of an iconic belief that we all once shared: a global commitment to love, hope and overcoming fear. The constant contradiction of recognizable and spatial entities, combined with controlled and uncontrolled forces — precise versus loose — come together to convey my message.
Image: Fringe; Complex; mixed media