Frikkie Eksteen, Man looking at sky, 2011. 940 x 360 mm. R16000.00
Frikkie Eksteen, Man looking at sky, 2011. 940 x 360 mm. Mixed media on canvas. Provenance: Association of Visual Arts, Pretoria, 2014.
MORE ON THE ARTIST
An award-winning graduate in the town of his birth, Frikkie Eksteen completed his Master's degree at the University of Pretoria in 2000. He has been involved in numerous projects, which include The Trinity Session's Broadcast quality: The art of Big Brother (2002), Bell-Roberts' art-advertising showcase, Mettle and paint (2003), CLEAN/GRIME: exhibitions of desaturated art (2001-2003), Spier Contemporary (2010), Dystopia (2009-2010) and TRANSCODE // DIALOGUES AROUND INTERMEDIA PRACTICE (2011). He was formerly a permanent lecturer in fine art and multimedia at UNISA, and taught part-time at the University of Pretoria.
His work is represented in the Pretoria Art Museum, University of Pretoria, UNISA, SASOL, ABSA and MTN permanent collections, and has been shown in London and Edinburgh as part of the Royal Overseas League exhibitions.
Frikkie Eksteen's art is a multi-disciplinary permutation of traditional and experimental practices and often questions the underlying mechanisms of representational systems. This focus has resulted in a series of portraits where the precision of computer imaging is contrasted with volatile painting techniques.
What started as an experiment with morphing – where formal portrait paintings were combined to produce meta- or inter-images as a comment on likeness – has developed into a process also concerned with the status of painting in visual culture today, intent on opening up the discipline into the unknown territory to which the exhibition title refers. While the work may appear superficially faithful to the techniques of traditional painting, the latter explicitly shows the digital construction of the image behind and through the painting, bringing to mind the processed yet often hidden nature of the images we encounter daily.
Eksteen's work often utilises 3D wireframe figures printed on canvas, adapted as a scaffold for a range of painterly effects. The combination of traditional and digital media creates a strangely compatible, yet contrasting, impression. It could appear as if the superimposition of media speaks to as well as against each other in ways that prompt questions about representational substance. If approached in this way, the work presents an open-ended conversation about the physical matter of painting, the unpredictability of the body and the analytical space of the computer.
While revealing unseen mechanisms but also approaching their own signification as subject matter, these images aim to question the traditional uses and aims of portrait painting: specifically its relationship to power, notions of likeness, the artist's stylistic signature and the passage of time.
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