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Blog – TABOO artist Anton Kannemeyer on his work and background

Posted on Jan. 21, 2013 in Curatorial.

Works by South-African comics artist Anton Kannemeyer (a.k.a. Joe Dog, born in 1967, Cape Town) feature in guest curator Brook Andrew’s group exhibition as part of the multi-faceted TABOO program. Click here to hear Kannemeyer discuss his experience as a white male Afrikaner under and post Apartheid. The artist also talks about the influence of Belgian comic book writer and artist Hergé on his work and describes Bittercomix, a magazine he co-founded with fellow Afrikaner Conrad Botes in 1992.

The following is an extract from Brook Andrew’s curatorial essay for TABOO:

'In his watercolours, Anton Kannemeyer provides views covering sports, prisons, corporations, genocide and cultural relations as a messy reality, but his African reality is no more or less messy than we might find on another continent.

(...) Perhaps Kannemeyer’s cartoon style artworks push similar buttons to that of the twelve satirical cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad published by Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten in 2005?

When Kannemeyer’s large works on paper Untitled (soccer) and Untitled (Rugby) (2012) are placed on a bed of fluorescent yellow and pink, the full energy of sports erupts off their surfaces. In the artist’s home country of South Africa, racial vilification in sport is still a highly volatile situation, an issue pushed further with his stereotyping the players’ heads as either ‘golliwog’ or ‘white man’ types. Racism in sport in Australia is a delicate matter. In 1993, Aboriginal Australian Football League player Nicky Winmar stood his ground in the face of mob racial vilification from the crowds in the grandstand. He lifted his jersey and pointed at his skin. There had never been a stand like this by an Aboriginal sportsperson taken at an A Grade match. The event was televised to thousands of homes, and became the turning point for attitudes towards racism.

(...) The politics of skin colour is just as fraught in Australia as it is internationally. Kannemeyer’s skin colour as a ‘white man’ presents a problem for those who say he is not entitled to comment on the black body.’

TABOO runs until 24 February 2013.

For more information on Anton Kannemeyer, go to his gallery’s website

For more information on the exhibition and events, go to the webpage

Posted by Kelly Stone