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Paradyse of the Damned - Mxolisi Vusimusi Beauchamp
Press Release. Posted on May 14, 2015.

Mxolisi Vusimusi Beauchamp, Detail of The Great Maestro, Mixed media

Paradyse of the Damned is a body of work by Mxolisi Vusimusi Beauchamp with socio-reflective narrative inspired by the political and social icons of the past and the future South Africa as well as our contemporary global village. The new paintings tread in the subversiveness of imagery and words. Big titles and catch phrases are used to deflect from or to reflect on the subjects portrayed. Beauchamp employs imagery reminiscent of apartheid resistance artists with content that can be deemed treasonous in post-apartheid South Africa.

Beauchamp describes himself as an artist, a multimedia designer and an art director. For the last seven years he has created artworks by means of painting, spray-painting and stencilling to comment on social issues, politicians and events that make up the South African social landscape. More recently he used the medium of silk-screening in order to bring the content of the work (that is, critical observation of people and events) closer to a "media"-based technique. These works are the artistic version of satirical journalism and social critique, often controversial.

Humour is an important "ingredient" in his work and he has also employed it in the various artistic spheres he has crossed over to, such as prints, the comic book and plays. As an artist he asserts that he does not attempt only to lampoon personages he depicts, but seeks simultaneously to depict their stereotyping by the media.

This dual vision of events from the "inside" and the "outside" reflects the way in which perception is shaped by the media and subsequently becomes reality. Paradyse of the Damned affords the viewer a glimpse of contemporary icons as lived experience in our social psyche through the exploration of ideas of freedom of expression on the verge of treason.

The exhibition opens on 16 May 2015 at 10:30 for 11:00 in the Preiss Hall of the Pretoria Art Museum. The exhibition will close on 5 July 2015.

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