STEVENSON Unveils New Art from Conrad Botes
Irwin Weiner ASID - On a recent visit to my native Cape Town, South Africa, we visited the ever-changing Woodstock neighborhood. Once a bit on the seedy side, its small factory, warehouse, and shop spaces are being taken over by designers, artists, and galleries. One gallery we visited was STEVENSON, and the fantastic Conrad Botes exhibition "The Temptation to Exist." Botes twists traditional religious beliefs and posits a world where God creates the human race as a vile byproduct ... well, I won't get too specific, but it's not quite appetizing. What IS delicious, however, are his self portraits and other works showing tattoo-like markings that reminded us of Basquiat and Keith Haring. In the South African artist's visual parlance, however, they represent "the ideology and hatred that inevitably contaminate the human condition." We spent quite awhile admiring Botes' sculpture, painting on canvas, and reverse-glass paintings.