Early morning territorial dispute. The dog tried to get the cat to leave the basket, using nips and nudges. The cat retaliated with a flurry of paw-cuffs. The dog nosed the basket to the edge of the room. Then the cat heard the sound of a food-plate being shifted in the distance, and the dispute was declared a draw. http://ift.tt/1nGEda0
Joburg. A city of intersections. Between the have and the have-not, between the hustle and the bustle, between where you’re coming from and where you hope to be. It’s always been like this. But these days, the traffic is faster, the gap wider. And still, I think, and I see the proof of it every day, it’s a city at the intersection of the human heart and soul too. http://ift.tt/1qnlS6e
The Muesli & Yoghurt at Fournos. Most “health breakfasts” served at franchise cafés are fairly sad approximations, with store-bought muesli and bland yoghurt plonked on top. Maybe a few tired specimens of sliced fruit on the side. But this is the real thing. Astringently sharp Greek yoghurt, decent muesli, complete with sunflower seeds, and a berry compote. I’m ready for my early-morning meeting now. http://ift.tt/1vIVQLw
And here’s a closeup of Nude in Mink, especially for @sowetowinefestival. Tretchi loved, loved the colour green, the greener the better. And he loved wine too, which is why his work is equally at home in wine estates. http://ift.tt/1v8jgMX
Who knows what fears and manias lurk in the heart of malls? This is the skylight by Willem Boshoff at Hyde Park. We don’t often look to the sky in a mall, but it’s nice to see that there is something more than a functional filter for the light in this particular galleria. http://ift.tt/1mySbu7
There’s a lot of art at Hyde Park mall, which was once famous for its murals by Cecil Skotnes. (They’re gone now, alas.) I didn’t even realise, until I saw this plaque on the upper level, overlooking the Tretchi exhibit, that the main skylight is a conceptual work by Willem Boshoff. http://ift.tt/1l2WliA
A close-up of Tretchikoff’s brushstrokes, on a floral still life. http://ift.tt/1myP2dL
Tretchi’s signature, on one of his famous nudes. Those water drops aren’t terribly convincing. But he painted them often. http://ift.tt/1myP1Xh
Fruit Seller, by Tretchikoff, Hyde Park. I like the elemental sparseness of this portrait. It’s only a sharp angle or two away from Cubism. http://ift.tt/1l2UBWq
Proteas and roses, and another blooming Tretchikoff. That’s Miss Wong on the poster in the background. You have to go upstairs, and into the jewellery store to see her. She basks alone, like the Mona Lisa, under the watchful eye of the security guard. http://ift.tt/1l2UBG7
Hydrangeas, by Tretchikoff, Hyde Park. He loved painting flowers, but somehow, nature painted them better. http://ift.tt/1myP1GL
Balinese Girl, by Tretchikoff, at Hyde Park. She wasn’t really Balinese, she was from Cape Town. http://ift.tt/1l2UzxT
Nude in Mink, by Vladimir Tretchikoff, at Hyde Park mall. Tretchi, as he was known to his adoring fans, and Wretchikoff or Tretchikitsch to his abhoring critics, was a Russian exile who took up residence in Cape Town, and became the most famous and popular artist of his day. He chose to exhibit his work not in the cloistered confines of galleries, but in the lobbies and halls of fancy department stores, where people would queue for hours to marvel and maybe even shake his hand. He brought art to the people, and the people bought his art, albeit mostly in mass-produced print form. Tretchi called his critics “clowns”, although his work itself was clownish, drenched in bathos and caked in garish colours. But the years have been kind to Tretchi, and one can today admire his paintings for their flamboyance, their gall, their propensity to attract scandal. The model here, for instance, was a Scope magazine centrefold, and it was scandalous that he was able to depict her without the customary airbrushing or little black censor bars. Go and have a look at the exhibition if you’re in the hood. It’s great fun, and Tretchi is right at home here. http://ift.tt/1l2Uzhl
This is the hand-silkscreened cover of the first and only vinyl record released by the Happy Ships, a loose collective of slackers and joller-punks nominally led by Lloyd Ross, the legendary producer at the helm of Shifty Records in the 80s. I remember receiving this album to review for the Sunday Times, and being captivated by its bright and cheerful packaging, as much as by the gleefully eclectic and scrappy music therein. Shifty are celebrating their 30th anniversary next month, with a series of events for which they are currently crowdfunding. Go to shifty.co.za for more. And be happy. http://ift.tt/1sZ7x2u
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