Issuu on Google+

2

BEEZY BAILEY ICON — ICONOCLAST

Beezy Bailey

BEEZY BAILEY ICON — ICONOCLAST

JOHANNESBURG 6 Jellicoe Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196 Private Bag 5, Parklands 2121 South Africa Tel: + 27 11 788 4805  Fax: + 27 11 788 5914  Email: gallery@everard.co.za  www.everard-read.co.za CAPE TOWN 3 Portswood Road, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town Tel: + 27 21 418 4528  Email: ctgallery@everard.co.za  www.everard-read-capetown.co.za Work Name 2010 oil, silk screen, enamel on canvas 170 x 250 cm

ICON – ICONOCLAST

Work Name 2010 oil, silk screen, enamel on canvas 170 x 250 cm

3


4

BEEZY BAILEY ICON — ICONOCLAST

ICON — ICONOCLAST Beezy Bailey 5 May – 5 June 2011

Work Name 2010 oil, silk screen, enamel on canvas 170 x 250 cm


BEEZY BAILEY ICON — ICONOCLAST

Beezy Bailey captures the iconic figure of Nelson Mandela with wit and the irreverence of a genuine iconoclast. This collection is a vivid, touching and illuminating journey around Madiba that teases, tantalises and transfixes the viewer in an effervescent celebration. The symbolic tapestry of South Africa’s haunting landscape, secretive mists, visceral imagery of birds and broken shacks weave and float around the elusive, multi-dimensional charisma of a man who has always reminded us that love is central to liberation, and the masses, not great men, are the true creators of history. Bailey achieves what few others – in speech, written word and art – have managed to do. Through Bailey’s prism the icon is captured in all his grace, simplicity and dignity. Bailey the iconoclast does what Mandela would wish. The saint is a human being. This exhibition is a treasure-trove. Ronnie Kasrils Former Minister of Intelligence and comrade of Nelson Mandela page 1: Citation (detail) right: Prophets Old and New (detail)

Work Name 2010 oil, silk screen, enamel on canvas 170 x 250 cm

7


ICON — ICONOCLAST

Two- and three-dimensional images have been given both religious and secular meaning for veneration and inspiration throughout history. The classical iconoclast – from the Greek eikon ‘image, likeness’ and last ‘breaker’ – in the Christian and Byzantine empire of the 8th and the 9th centuries and later during the Protestant Reformation period, set out to destroy countless paintings and sculptures and banned images from display and veneration. Contemporary ‘icons’ and their use in art extend into popular culture and counter-culture with the likenesses of folk heroes and pop stars. Marilyn Monroe, Jacqueline Kennedy, Elvis Presley, Elizabeth Taylor and Mick Jagger, among others, were appropriated most famously by Andy Warhol, a leading figure in the Pop Art movement in the 1960s. Political figures like Mao Tse Tung, Lenin, Ché Guevara, Fidel Castro and JFK became favourite images for designers and artists. Warhol, the commercial-artist-turned-Artist comments on consumerism by appropriating these in demanding a response to the flat silk-screened images as part of the mass media lexicon: ‘After I did the With the Dalai at the Quarry (detail)

BEEZY BAILEY ICON — ICONOCLAST

9


10

BEEZY BAILEY ICON — ICONOCLAST

BEEZY BAILEY ICON — ICONOCLAST

thing called “art” or whatever it’s called, I went into business art. I wanted

‘Madiba Magic’ is real. What then of the man? The ‘Character, Comrade,

what Bailey calls ’the hasty re-arrangement of the chairs to cover up past

to be an Art Businessman or a Business Artist. Being good in business is

Leader, Prisoner, Negotiator, Statesman’ (the title of an exhibition on

racism called political correctness, or policing creativity‘. The selection

the most fascinating kind of art.‘

his life at the Apartheid Museum). What lies beneath the printed iconic

by the National Gallery of his/her work for their permanent collection

smile and familiar face? Who owns the Icon and the reproduction and

from the Triennial exhibition’s ‘Salon des Refusés’ posed a challenge and

contemporary iconoclastic role. The iconic image and its popular meaning

exploitation of it as a commodity in a consumer society? Who decrees

offered commentary on the political process at work. Ntobe is again

are subverted to reveal or create ‘real’ or new meaning.

who or what can be shown where and how?

below the surface, buried beneath the overlay of current comment in

Beezy Bailey in his exhibition Icon – Iconoclast follows in this

Bailey the artist/iconoclast poses these questions by holding the

more than one canvas.

Icon: A name, face, picture, edifice or person readily recognized as

iconic image up, placing it centrally in his new work. The echo of Warhol’s

having a well-known significance or embodying certain qualities: An

words proclaiming himself to be a ‘Business Artist’ could be the icon

complex body of work, which engages on a visceral and cerebral level.

image or depiction that represents something significant through

busters Bailey’s challenge in de-commercialising the commodity and

His anarchic cultural activist self is alive and well, finding new ground in

literal or figurative meaning, usually associated with religion,

rebranding it ‘Art’, where ownership is in the imaginative possibilities

continuing to challenge perceptions and holy cows, which he does in this

cultural, political or economic standing.

and layered meaning attributed to it by the artist. This moves beyond

instance in a homage to the hero – ‘to transcend political propaganda and

Iconoclast: A person who attacks cherished beliefs: one who attacks

nostalgic myth-making and propaganda attributing tangible ‘real’

pay tribute to Mandela the man, the human, the embodiment of what we

and seeks to overthrow traditional or popular beliefs.

meaning.

all can be’ – rather than perpetuating a mythical ‘icon’.

The subliminal message is nostalgic in the sense of a disappointment

Ultimately Beezy Bailey has assembled a visually exciting and

The metaphor contained in Zapiro’s cartoon drawn on the eve of

In acknowledging Warhol and the popular power attached to the iconic

in the current political status quo bereft of the ethos and example of the

Nelson Mandela’s retirement from office finds resonance here. It shows

image, Bailey uses the same technique of the bland multiple silk-screened

man whose humanity is central to his political persona. The exasperation

Mandela standing on stage with feet crossed and hands behind his back

photographic image. Submerging this within the painterly canvas plane

at the betrayal of the optimism of the Mandela years, and his people’s

with the sun setting behind him, and head lowered with a coy smile. The

he gives the printed image a gestural and personal signature consciously

sacrifice, by what could be construed as the New New National Party

speech bubble above him contains the words:

absent from the photograph. The ‘Icon’ in question is our own Nelson

policies complete with social engineering and challenges to press

Rohlihlahla Mandela, an international figure revered around the world,

freedom circulates here.

acclaimed and claimed by all. A hero who is a prisoner of the mass media!

A second layer harks back to the artist/iconoclast of the 1990s

With his birthday decreed and celebrated internationally as Mandela day,

reincarnated in the form of Baileys alter ego, Joyce Ntobe, given birth by

Prisoner of the People (detail)

‘ICON? … AIKONA!’

Christopher Till Director of the Apartheid Museum, South Africa

11


12

BEEZY BAILEY ICON — ICONOCLAST

Night City All Stars 2010 oil, silk screen, enamel on canvas 170 x 250 cm

BEEZY BAILEY ICON — ICONOCLAST

Rain in Africa 2010 oil, silk screen, enamel on canvas 170 x 250 cm

13


14

BEEZY BAILEY ICON — ICONOCLAST

Rainbow Men 2010 oil, silk screen, enamel on canvas 170 x 250 cm Joyce Ntobe and Beezy Bailey collaboration

BEEZY BAILEY ICON — ICONOCLAST

Homecoming 2010 oil, silk screen, enamel on canvas 170 x 250 cm

15


16

BEEZY BAILEY ICON — ICONOCLAST

HIV Supporter 2010 oil, silk screen, enamel on canvas 170 x 250 cm Joyce Ntobe and Beezy Bailey collaboration

BEEZY BAILEY ICON — ICONOCLAST

Ghost Boxer 2010 oil, silk screen, enamel on canvas 170 x 250 cm

17


18

BEEZY BAILEY ICON — ICONOCLAST

Prisoner of the People 2010 oil, silk screen, enamel on canvas 170 x 250 cm

BEEZY BAILEY ICON — ICONOCLAST

Citation 2010 oil, silk screen, enamel on canvas 250 x 170 cm

19


20

BEEZY BAILEY ICON — ICONOCLAST

Stormy Weather 2010 oil, silk screen, enamel on canvas 170 x 250 cm

BEEZY BAILEY ICON — ICONOCLAST

Out of the Woods 2010 oil, silk screen, enamel on canvas 170 x 250 cm

21


22

BEEZY BAILEY ICON — ICONOCLAST

Never Forget My Child 2010 oil, silk screen, enamel on canvas 170 x 200 cm

BEEZY BAILEY ICON — ICONOCLAST

Work Name 2010 oil, silk screen, enamel on canvas 170 x 250 cm

23


24

BEEZY BAILEY ICON — ICONOCLAST

Rainbow Notion 2010 oil, silk screen, enamel on canvas 170 x 250 cm

BEEZY BAILEY ICON — ICONOCLAST

Work Name 2010 oil, silk screen, enamel on canvas 170 x 250 cm

25


26

BEEZY BAILEY ICON — ICONOCLAST

Sunset of My Life 2010 oil, silk screen, enamel on canvas 170 x 200 cm

BEEZY BAILEY ICON — ICONOCLAST

Work Name 2010 oil, silk screen, enamel on canvas 170 x 250 cm

27


28

BEEZY BAILEY ICON — ICONOCLAST

Prophets Old and New 2011 oil, silk screen, enamel on canvas 120 x 110 cm

BEEZY BAILEY ICON — ICONOCLAST

Fire in Our Hearts 2010 oil, silk screen, enamel on canvas 110 x 120 cm

29


30

BEEZY BAILEY ICON — ICONOCLAST

Dante’s Inferno 2010 oil, silk screen, enamel on canvas 122 x 92 cm

BEEZY BAILEY ICON — ICONOCLAST

31


32

BEEZY BAILEY ICON — ICONOCLAST

Work Name 2010 oil, silk screen, enamel on canvas 170 x 250 cm

BEEZY BAILEY ICON — ICONOCLAST

African Harvest 2010 oil, silk screen, enamel on canvas 170 x 90 cm

33


34

BEEZY BAILEY ICON — ICONOCLAST

Tree of Life 2010 oil, silk screen, enamel on canvas 122 x 92 cm

BEEZY BAILEY ICON — ICONOCLAST

The End of Winter 2010 oil, silk screen, enamel on canvas 110 x 125 cm

35


36

BEEZY BAILEY ICON — ICONOCLAST

BEEZY BAILEY ICON — ICONOCLAST

THE FOLLOWING WORKS ARE ONE-OFF OIL SILK SCREENS

Work Name 2010 silk screen gouache on archers paper 125 x 102 cm

Looking Heaven-wards 2010 silk screen, gouache on archers paper 102 x 125 cm

37


38

BEEZY BAILEY ICON — ICONOCLAST

BEEZY BAILEY ICON — ICONOCLAST

Giant and the Little Men 2010 silk screen, gouache on archers paper 133 x 107 cm

At the Quarry 2010 silk screen, gouache on archers paper 100 x 87 cm

39


40

BEEZY BAILEY ICON — ICONOCLAST

Exile and Robben Island 2010 silk screen, gouache on archers paper 125 x 105 cm

BEEZY BAILEY ICON — ICONOCLAST

Work Name 2010 silk screen gouache on archers paper 125 x 102 cm

41


42

BEEZY BAILEY ICON — ICONOCLAST

With Joe Slovo and the Dalai Lama 2010 silk screen, gouache on archers paper 125 x 99 cm

BEEZY BAILEY ICON — ICONOCLAST

Quarry and Friends 2010 silk screen, gouache on archers paper 125 x 102 cm

43


44

BEEZY BAILEY ICON — ICONOCLAST

Free Prisoners 2010 silk screen, gouache on archers paper 125 x 102 cm

BEEZY BAILEY ICON — ICONOCLAST

Comrades 2010 silk screen, gouache on archers paper 139 x 106 cm

45


46

BEEZY BAILEY ICON — ICONOCLAST

BEEZY BAILEY ICON — ICONOCLAST

Rainbow Warriors 2010 silk screen, gouache on archers paper 125 x 102 cm

International Friends 2010 silk screen, gouache on archers paper 125 x 102 cm

47


48

BEEZY BAILEY ICON — ICONOCLAST

With the Dalai Lama at the Quarry 2010 silk screen, gouache on archers paper 102 x 125 cm

BEEZY BAILEY ICON — ICONOCLAST

Risen Soldier 2010 silk screen, gouache on archers paper 123 x 107 cm

49


50

51

Beezy Bailey (1962–) Biography Beezy Bailey was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. When he was 21, he lunched with Andy Warhol at his factory in New York City. Warhol liked the photos that Beezy showed him of his art and after that meeting Beezy decided to become a full-time artist. The silkscreened images in this exhibition are an artistic tribute to Andy Warhol, who was a major mentor to Bailey. In 1986 Bailey received a degree in Fine Art from Byam Shaw School of Art in London. Twenty years ago Beezy invented his black woman alter ego Joyce Ntobe, born of the frustration of affirmative action in the art world, or rather political correctness (which Bailey refers to as ‘policing creativity’). The South African National Gallery (SANG) bought his/her three linocuts, which depicted Joyce’s life as a domestic worker, for their permanent collection, not knowing that Beezy, a white male, was in fact the author. Bailey eventually issued a press release accusing the SANG of inverted racism and it became an international art scandal. Joyce is today on the national school curriculum and has recently been acquired to grace the walls of the SA president’s official residence. Other scandals to have attracted international media coverage have been Bailey’s conversion of the statue of Boer commander Louis Botha outside parliament in Cape Town into a Xhosa initiate, and more recently, his rendition of Christ removed from the cross as a dancing Jesus, celebrating His resurrection. Bailey has been the driving force behind the ‘Art for AIDS Orphans’ and ‘Art for Africa’ auctions that brought together leading contemporary British and South African artists. The auctions were conducted by Sothebys in Cape Town, Johanesburg and London, and raised in excess of R2.5 million. A fourth ‘Art for Africa’ auction is to take place later this year at Sothebys in New York. A comprehensive retrospective, spanning Bailey’s 30-year art career as painter, sculptor, print-maker and performance artist, will take place in China in September 2011.

Selected Exhibitions and Projects

2010: Exhibits Dancing Jesus – Hava Nagila in ‘We are not Witches’ fundraiser exhibition, Saatchi Gallery, London, 7–9 October 2010. Performance of Dancing Jesus, Copenhagen. Performance of Dancing Jesus, Infecting the City project. Graphic work shown at João Ferriera Gallery, Cape Town. 2009 September: Organised and curated the Art for Africa Fundraiser Auction comprising 40 top South African and British artists which was held at Sotheby’s, Bond Street, London.

2004 July: New Identities: Contemporary Art in South Africa, Bochum Museum, Germany. 2004 April: The ID of South African Artists, Amsterdam, exhibition accompanying the musical, The Lion King. 2004 March: Solo Exhibition, Everard Read Gallery, Johannesburg. 2003: Exhibits collaboration Beezy Bailey & Zwelethu Mthethwa, ‘Ticket to the other side’ at the 8th Cuba Biennial, November 2003.

2009 18 April – 31 May: ‘Notes from the Empire’ curated by Christianne Mennicke, at the Kunsthaus, Dresden, 18 April – 31 May (collaborative work with Zwelethu Mthethwa).

2002:’Ticket to the other side’ (collaboration Beezy Bailey & Zwelethu Mthethwa). Work in progress on large canvases. Curates the ‘Art for Aids orphans’ auction for November 2002.

2009 April: Exhibits Fallen Angel bronze and sells for record price at the second Joburg Art Fair.

2001: Photographic collaboration with Zwelethu Mthethwa. Vanessa Branston commission – statues and mural in the UK. Ongoing exhibition of graphic works and watercolours at the Art Factory and Shop.

2008 February: Being Blown Backwards into the Future. Group exhibition with Joyce Ntobe, Everard Read Gallery, Johannesburg. 2007 February: Solo Exhibition, Everard Read Gallery, Cape Town. 2006: Zwelethu/Beezy Bailey collaboration work acquired by the Kunsthal, Vienna. A collection of 45 retrospective paintings were acquired by the Ojai Valley Museum in California, LA. 2005 November/December: Solo Exhibition, Everard Read Gallery, Johannesburg. 2005: Exhibits collaboration with Zwelethu Mthethwa, Prague Biennale. 2004 October: Art 4 Aids: Organised and donated work for auction that raised R1.1 million for Aids orphans, Sotheby’s, Johannesburg.

1999: Abakwetha – Farmer, Warrior, Statesman: Intervention, Parliament, Cape Town. Part of a public sculpture festival to commemorate Heritage Day. The bronze statue of Boer War General Louis Botha outside Parliament was converted into a Xhosa initiate wearing a traditional blanket and hat, face painted with white clay. The statue’s transformation received extensive international press and TV coverage. 1999 April: Ju-ju and the Blue Zulu: Performance at Red Eye, Durban Art Gallery. Beezy appeared at the pop-culture event Red Eye as Flying Man San and – naked but for a layer of blue paint, wings, goggles and a propeller hat – painted a self-portrait using an ultra-long brush. 1999 May – August: Learning to Fly Again: Beezy Bailey Art Factory, Cape Town.

A one-person exhibition of prints and paintings on the theme of a fantastical flying contraption, depicting Flying Man San’s ‘attempts to touch the sky’. 1999 February: Lee Ping Zing: Performance at Womad music festival, Benoni, South Africa. 1998 October: Fabric of the People: Street fashion show, Beezy Bailey Art Factory. Choreographed by acclaimed South African director Brett Bailey, this open-air theatre event showcases fabric, clothing and homeware designed by Beezy for the Art Factory, using untrained models and actors including street people. 1998 August: Beezy Bailey Art Factory and Shop: Opening in Cape Town. The Beezy Bailey Art Factory and Shop is a project aimed at closing the gap between fine art and popular culture. Beezy collaborated with Koos Malgas of the Owl House on the façade of the building. The Factory includes ceramics and printmaking studios, an art gallery showing Beezy’s work, and a shop selling Beezy-print fabrics and homeware. 1997 September: District Six Sculpture Festival: District Six, Cape Town. An outdoor group exhibition in commemoration of communities forcibly removed from their homes in District Six during apartheid. Beezy’s contribution was to paint the trunk of an old, dead tree a blazing, fluorescent red: ‘a highly effective and affecting symbol for the day’ – Sue Williamson, Artthrob, October 1997. 1996 November: Through the Looking Glass: Jibby Beane Gallery, London. Lee Ping Zing paintings were included on a group exhibition of works projected onto the exterior of the gallery with David Bowie, Brian Eno and Langlands & Bell.


52

BEEZY BAILEY ICON — ICONOCLAST

1995 April – May: Beezy Bailey and Joyce Ntobe: Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg. Beezy exhibited paintings and wooden chainsaw-carved heads, as well as conceptual works by his alter ego, black domestic worker Joyce Ntobe: figures sculpted in clear resin and filled with objects including sweets, beads, lipstick and Vaseline. 1995 February – June: Collaboration with David Bowie: London and New York. Paintings and drawings produced in collaboration with David Bowie were exhibited in London and New York. Collaborative works were also included on David Bowie’s solo shows at the Gallery in Cork Street, London, in April 1995 and at the Daniel Thorens Gallery in Basel, Switzerland, in May 1996. 1994 April: Vote for South Africa: South African Association of Arts Performance work to mark the first democratic elections in South Africa. 1994 January: Touring print exhibition: Florida State University. Prints by Beezy and his creation, the black domestic worker Joyce Ntobe, were included on a group exhibition of prints that toured to three American states. 1993 December: Two collaborations: South African Association of Arts, Cape Town. Beezy exhibited concrete sculptures made in collaboration with Koos Malgas (assistant to Helen Martins at the worldrenowned Owl House sculpture garden in the Karoo) and painted photographs in collaboration with Adam Letch. 1993 January: Made in Wood: Group show, South African National Gallery, Cape Town. 1992 May: Joyce Ntobe/Beezy Bailey: Market Galleries, Johannesburg. ‘Group exhibition’ in which Beezy exhibits linocuts

and sculptures by Joyce Ntobe, and works based on material from the Drum/Bailey African Photo Archives. 1992 March: Joyce Ntobe/Beezy Bailey: South African Association of Arts, Cape Town. 1991 September: New Directions: Group exhibition of sculpture, Centre for African Studies and Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town. The show was banned by the police.

Collections: Beezy’s work is represented in the following collections:

front cover Rainbow Notion 2010  oil, silk screen, enamel on canvas  170 x 250 cm

Kunsthal Vienna collection, South African National Gallery, Durban Art Gallery, SASOL, BIDVEST, ABSA, Investec, BZW Bank London, Standard Bank, FNB, SAPS computers Germany, Big Star Jean Company, Tuinhuis SA Presidential Residence collection and numerous private collections around the world.

1991 February: One-person show: Gallery on the Market, Johannesburg. 1989 August: Artist in residence: South African National Gallery, Cape Town. 1988 September: Cape Town Triennial: National touring group exhibition and competition, South African National Gallery, Cape Town, and Johannesburg Art Gallery. 1988 May–June: Introducing Beezy Bailey: One-man show, Vanessa Devereux Gallery, London.

This exhibition catalogue is published in conjunction with the exhibition Icon – Iconoclast at Everard Read, Johannesburg 5 May – 5 June 2011

1998, February: Live Painting: Performance, 5 Roodehek Street, Cape Town.

Published in 2011 by Everard Read, 6 Jellicoe Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg

1987 November: Standard Bank Drawing Exhibition: Group show, South Africa.

Copyright © Everard Read Copyright texts © The respective authors

1987 March: One-man exhibition: Gallery International, Cape Town.

All rights reserved.

February 1987: First SA solo show: Karen McKerron Gallery, Johannesburg. July 1986: First one-man exhibition: Art Show Gallery, London. June 1986: International Contemporary Art Fair: Olympia, London. Tertiary education: 1983–1986: Fine Art Degree, Byam Shaw School of Art, London.

Beezy Bailey would like to thank: Jody Paulsen Tonya Lehtinen Tacita Rumble Ronnie Kasrils Christopher Till

No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without prior permission from the publishers. ISBN 978-0-620-50063-0 Artwork photographs by Mario Todeschini Studio photographs (inside front and back covers) by Gary van Wyk Designed by Kevin Shenton Printed by Ultra Litho (Pty) Limited, Johannesburg Work Name 2010 oil, silk screen, enamel on canvas 170 x 250 cm

53


Beezy Bailey - ICON ICONOCLAST