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International couch photographer does local artists proud

John Bauer, artist at his studio, Claremont

International couch photographer does local artists proud Caitlin Hood and John Bauer Serendipity and the magic of helpfulness or right time, right space. If you met a world renowned photographer and a rapper in Cape Town recently you'd assume a connection to the World Cup. But although they went to a match, that's not what Rainer Hosch and Janic de Kaser, alias Estikay, were here for. It was all about artists, and a couch New York based Hosch has photographed Wilem Dafoe, Whoopi Goldberg, David Duchovny and Warren Buffet to name but a few. (the latter unsurprisingly said he hoped Hosch was making a lot of money from the pictures). At the moment his client is furniture company Dedon who have sponsored him to take their couch around the world and shoot pictures in beautiful and unusual places. Estikay heard about the project and signed up to help, and they're shooting a rap video on the way. The team came into Africa through Kenya, where they strategically placed the furniture in a Masai celebration and had their fortunes told by a warrior witchdoctor. Hosch describes the experience as ' an incredible privelege'. They then had time for only one stop in South Africa - Cape Town -where he had the opportunity to indulge his personal passion, photographing artists at work. Having trained in Austria, Rainer Hosch was lured to New York, where he now lives, by the fashion photography industry. Early on he was also asked to take pictures of artists at work and that has spawned a book that he's waiting to publish,Portraits of Artists, which can be seen along with his blogon his website He loves the work so much that he does it on his own time. In Cape Town, a chance encounter with ceramicist John Bauer in a gallery led to a flurry of visits to artists studios and some purchases that will now be hanging on the walls of apartments in the big Apple. First he photographed Bauer, resplendent in a 70's style purple afghan and looking like a glam rock singer, hanging off a topiaried tree in his front garden accompanied by pottery and couch. The first the potter realised of the unassuming Austrian's high profile was the number of 'fixers' who piled out of two vans to haul the couch over his wall. Accompanied by Estikay they then set off to the Good Hope Art Studios in Cape Town Castle where the rapper commissioned a self portrait in the distinctive style of Jedaja Ikoli and a woodcut by Zxolani, a panel depicting a South African life study. Hausch also photographed Sophie Peters, and at the Bijou Theatre, Selvin November, Lisa Grobler, Hanlie Kotzee and Elise Connor and Norman O'Flynn.. At Ore Gallery in Observatory Rowan Smith's 'Pocket Calculator'cought the photographer's eye, The piece displays the words to a Kraftwerk song crawling across the screen, perhaps a reminder of his teutonic roots. In conversation Hausch mused about the role of photography in art. He says like all art, 'it's what you choose to frame in a picture'. On the rise of digital he is philosophical "It changes everything. I tried to fight it at first and then I realised it's about what I choose to photograph, not the medium" On purchasing art, he admits to missing out on many great opportunities to buy pieces from artists he's photographed, only for them to make it really big later. He hasn't made that mistake this time.

Hausch and Estikay had to fly out of Cape Town before the end of the World Cup, saying it seemed far too soon. The photographer leaves Africa not only with work from emerging African artists but the words of the Massai witchdoctor. "You're a happy man, a good man and everything will be alright."

Nomlildo, Sophie Peters Jakes Ikoli- and Zxolani Sithungela, Good Hope Studio’s

Jedaja (Jakes) Ikoli at the Good Hope Studio’s, The Castle Cape Town

Hanlie Coetzee, Liza Grobler and Elise O’Connor at the Bijou Studio’s Observatory

John Bauer sucessfully trims his hedge with new couch

Selvyn November, artist

Rebecca Townsend, artist, Observatory, Cape Town

Rebecca Townsend, artist, Observatory, Cape Town

Zarvic Botha, Studio’s, The Castle, Cape Town

International couch “fixers” moving couch

International couch photographer does local artists proud