Which artists, books or music have inspired your work?
ART: I am a Renaissance fanatic. Botticelli, Da Vinci, Michelangelo and Titian… to name just a few. Also in love with Ophelia by John Everett Millais. In fact, there are far too many to name…
BOOKS: ‘Life of Pi’ by Yan Martel and ‘What’s Eating Gilbert Grape’ by Peter Hedges, both of which were brilliantly adapted into great movies. I have a thing for adaptations. My Master’s Degree dissertation revolved around stage to film adaptations.
MUSIC: From Leonard Cohen, Dolly Parton and Post Malone and Miley as well as everything in between. I am also a sucker for a good cover version of a song.
I think me adapting famous artworks has been in the cards for a while.
Which South African deceased artist do you most admire and why?
Without a doubt Vladimir Tretchikoff.
If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?
If it’s not ‘Ophelia’ by Millais, I will settle for Sandro Botticelli’s ‘Primavera’. I have made the pilgrimage to the Uffizi Gallery in Florence twice to start the negotiations. What a dream!
Pick three artists who you would be honored to exhibit with – and why
Three different artist with different genre’s. Sculptures and installations by Mary Sibande, Digital art by Ruan Jooste and Photography by Justin Andrew Dingwall
I think the narrative in our work is definitely of similar nature. Would be an awesome exhibition.
How did you get started? Did you always want to be an artist?
I have always been a creative. Books, puzzles, painting and drawing was part of my daily routine growing up. Art was a favorite subject in High School and led me to study Theatre Crafts as a student. I specialized in Scenic Painting and Stage Properties. Painting has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. There was a brief moment that I wanted to become a Marine Biologist, but studying was definitely not as much fun as painting. I cannot see myself doing anything but ART.
What are some of the key themes you explore in your work?
Differences and similarities in ethnicity, culture, religion, and a variety of other themes are being explored. Commentary is given on emancipation, strength, immortality, beauty, and pain with the ultimate goal of inclusion.
What should people know about your art that they can’t tell from looking at it?
A lot of love and passion has gone into the recreation and reworking of my artwork
What are the most essential items in your studio and why?
Music, my blackboard for notes and lists as well good lighting
Do you believe an artist should use their platform to influence society? Why?
Yes. For as long as I can remember the main aim/focus of my art is to be visually pleasing. To influence society by the social commentary of my HOMOGENISE series is an honor and a privilege. Even if it only makes a person smile or think I have succeeded.
Do you have a favourite or most meaningful work?
This must be like asking a mother to choose her favorite child. But if I have to choose a favorite from my recent collection it would have to be ‘Lulu-Griet, Girl with the mismatched earrings’ (after Vermeer).
What is your greatest achievement as an artist to date?
Finding a theme, concept and style in my art that people relate to. I received the following commentary recently after my solo exhibition ‘HOMOGENISE’ in Kalk bay.
“I was utterly captivated by what I was seeing. Here were some of the greatest artworks of our time but with a significant twist. Culture meets questions, diversity, and the concept of what it is for art to be a homogenous; representative of culture was staring me in the face. I was speechless.” –M Baird
What are your aspirations for the future?
To keep on producing art that starts conversations and nourishes the soul. I would also love to travel some more, perhaps an artist residency abroad