Spirit, a short-run art show at the Kalashnikovv Gallery in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, is a sometimes unsettling — sometimes grotesque — often touching collaboration between Antonia Steyn and Gill Rall.
Steyn is a Cape Town photographer who specialises in portraiture; Rall is a diesel mechanic from Edenvale, an artisan and a fetishist.
Rall styles himself as South Africa’s only legitimate “rubber doll”, part of a global community of people who take pleasure in dressing in spectacular, handmade full body latex suits, often designed to look like idealised women.
But Spirit is not just a show about one man’s attachment to latex. It’s about identity, whiteness, masculinity and ageing, all written on skin: both through Rall’s physical body (he is 77) and the enticingly tactile latex suits he designs and makes for himself when he dresses as Spirit, his rubber alter ego. Read more