Asha Zero painting titled, “Untitled” (acrylic on board, 100 x 120 cm, 2015)
Asha Zero — “Untitled” (acrylic on board, 100 x 120 cm, 2015)

So many contradictory art movements come to mind when talking about the paintings of Asha Zero, including Dadaism, Nouveau Réalisme, Superrealism, Abstract Expressionism, Punk, Hyperrealism, and Street Art. I have written a few articles and essays about Asha Zero over the past decade, an elusive South African painter whose identity remains a mystery to this day. A trickster, Banksy-esque, Zero’s paintings often fool the viewer into thinking that they are torn bits of paper fashioned into what resembles a collage. In fact, they are highly realistic, painstakingly crafted paintings, with no pasted elements or actual collage.

Just to get the…

Cross-section of Zeitz MOCAA
Cross-section of Zeitz MOCAA

Africa is commonly misconceived as poverty-stricken and filled with strife, void of any coherent cultural sphere. But the construction of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) challenges this somewhat bigoted perspective, marking a pivotal moment in time that debunks such misconceptions. As a sanctuary for contemporary art from across the continent and its diaspora, the approach to graphic design and branding in this building is as relevant as its purpose and message.

In general terms, the cultural sphere may be broken down into four interrelated parts: art, craft, design, and discourse. Many brands don’t understand the sum…

On February 27th, 2019, two years ago to this day, in my apartment in St James, Cape Town, I sat down in front of my computer, launched Skype, and proceeded to call David Carson. The reason for this call with David, a person whom I had long admired, at least since my art school days, was to talk about the launch of his book, Nuwork.collage001, which remains the most-recent publication produced by the iconic graphic designer. I was lucky enough to get an audience with him for a one-on-one interview just before the launch of the book, which coincided with…

Various copies of Izwi Magazine

There are so few independent publications currently being produced in South Africa, and even fewer with a coherent design sensibility. All the more reason to know about those publications that have made a historic impression, and support those that are currently trying to create history. It should be commonplace to encourage the production of new alternative, experimental, counterculture, and independent publications, as they are important cultural vessels representative of the way that any given society sees itself and its own cultural identity. Such vessels are part of the Zeitgeist and help to craft cultural narratives, evolving upon and changing the…

In memory of a friend and mentor.

Porta Pool Epiphany, 2002 (oil on board).

I wrote the following article about Kevin Roberts, a heavily underrated South African painter, sculptor, and close friend in 2007 for a Pretoria-based magazine called “A Look Away”, a publication that I thought would be culturally and historically relevant at the time. The magazine would prove to be an unspectacular mess and tanked roughly two-years later. Around the same time in late 2009, Kevin died of cancer. A little over a decade since his death, this article accidentally emerged from the doldrums of my writing archives, and after reading it again for the first time in so many years, I…

Shane de Lange - Image, Noise, Text.

by Shane de Lange

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