Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Unofficial South African World Cup Posters Campaign

The Unofficial Posters by Joe Pollitt

I wanted to take elements that I found interesting from various themes, ideas or parts of Contemporary African Art and add them all together in order to make up as series of 3 posters for the Unofficial South African World Cup, 2010 Poster Campaign I am unofficially running.

I remember reading a story by Laurens van der Post about the 'Bushmen' of the Kalahari Desert down in South Africa. I was fascinated by the way they put each other into an altered state of mind in order to paint on the cave walls. They would gather together in the sand and collectively clap their hands and one member of the group would stand in the middle and shuffle his feet vigorously in the sand to stimulate his endorphins in his brain; after a short while he would collapse in a heap in the sand and be taken off by his friends to sleep and enjoy the journey of going into a deep trance. When he woke out of his deep slumber he would tell stories of half-human animal monsters he had seen and he would paint what he saw on the cave walls. The images often had grid-like patterns which are also seen in artworks, which are created under the influence of Opium. This grid-like pattern was also used by Nejib Belkhodja when creating his blueprints of the Medina's in the 80's and 90's in Tunisia and he was strongly influenced by Mondrain and Modernism.

Soly Cisse's early works are interesting to me as he painted small stories in tiles around the canvas and I wanted to echo that idea in the posters. The images should be seen as tiles on a floor. The style of the work should be like that created by Twins Seven Seven and Malagantana back in the 70's and hopefully the influence of their work can be seen in the posters too. I also wanted to try and use Hans Hofmann's, the American Abstract Expressionist and superb art teacher, and his ideas of 'Push and Pull Theory' in colour, which makes some of the tiles stand out more than the others because of the colours they are associated next to; this gives a virtual 3D effect to the work.

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