Cobus Haupt is well established as a bronze sculptor who draws on history, popular culture and tradition to produce artworks that are visually dynamic, tactile and playful. He sent through a video response which will be shared via social media over the next few weeks. Here you can read through our Q&A with him, as a sneak peak!
EC: Are you busy with a new body of work?
CH: Yes! I’m busy with a new body of work that actually started long ago. I am busy with the ideas I had when I was a boy – ideas from about 30 years ago! The idea is in the process of trying to make art as medicine for myself. I have to get back to what art-making used to be for me. The reason for making art back then was for joy, it wasn’t for fame or money etc. So, the easiest way for me to tap into that drive or motivation, is to remake things I made or couldn’t make back then. The challenge now is to make the things the boy wanted to make, or the things that fascinated me then and turn it into art – now! For example, this boy wants spaceships, aliens, lasers, a planetarium and the machine that projects the stars. These are the things I am going to try and create. The challenge, however, is to change those things into art.
EC: Tell us about the art you are currently producing?
CH: Currently I’m busy working with masks. I’m busy finishing some older masks, which I’ve recast, and some new ones that I’ve created. Some of these will form part of a new body of work. For example (see image below: a rhino head and a rope ruffle around it’s neck), I think this one will be the main character of my new body of work. It’s based on a suit my dad made me, more like a costume. I once had this book “Wat Kan Ek Vandag Doen”. In it was lots of things for boys to build and one of them was a monster mask like this one.
EC: How has your artist process changed working in isolation?
CH: My artist process has changed a bit during isolation. I’m happy that my studio is in my backyard, so I have my studio and I do have some material to work with. Unfortunately I lack some material, like silicon rubber. The guys that work for me at my foundry aren’t here to help me cast bronze, nevermind not being able to purchase bronze. But except for that there are a lot of preparations I can model with clay for now.
EC: What would you say is the role of the artist in times like these?
CH: I think the role of the artist in these times is probably similar to the role of art in general. Art is a necessity, not a luxury. Making art, for me, is medicine. My art-making has turned towards myself. I do however, like the theory that the artist and society are two pieces of a puzzle. If art is medicine to me, it would resonate with others as well.
EC: What is one way you’d like the public to support artists and the art world during this time?
CH: I think a lot of artists are struggling, like myself. I’ve invested quite a lot of money on a show that has been canceled and this is true for many artists and the art world. I think the best way to support artists is to buy art or commission artists to make something. So basically, buy some art if you can.