Carla Crafford 15 artists through the lens 2009 | | Art in South Africa
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15 artists through the lens 2009 | A book inspired by POSTER theft

These photographs, taken of other artists’ work for either posters, editorial or catalogues, form part of a book and an exhibition about the dialogue between artist and art photographer.

The exhibition entitled ‘An exhibition inspired by POSTER theft’ opened at i-Art gallery from 2 - 17 October 2009. A large format book entitled ‘A book inspired by POSTER theft’ will be available.

For a number of years I have been passionately interested in the photography of other artists’ work – with particular emphasis on three-dimensional work.

This passion was prompted by a Swedish artist by name of Curt Fors, whom I met during the years (1981-1987) that I had lived in Paris, France – where Fors was heading the Graphics studio at the Cité Internationale des Arts. It must be said that, upon my return to South Africa in 1987, Photography as an art form was not well recognized in our country. However, I felt determined to at least link the medium to Fine Arts – with the focus on sculpture, works in progress, the artist’s studio and the process of making art. This seemed a natural outcome following my earlier studies – though incomplete – of Architecture (University of Pretoria) and Fine Art (majoring in sculpture, at UCT) in the late nineteen seventies.

While lecturing at the University of Pretoria, I met Guy du Toit in 2006 when he had asked me to photograph his work for a catalogue. This started a working relationship that could best be described as a Visual Dialogue – with the role of photographer sometimes being filled by the sculptor. We have subsequently worked together on a number of projects, where Du Toit would often ask me to make posters of his work – or of collaborative projects.

Since that time, a number of other artists have commissioned me to photograph their work either for editorial purposes, catalogues or for posters. It also inspired me to approach artists and request them to allow me to photograph their work.

The posters were never printed en masse, and since limited numbers were hand printed in either my own studio – or at Wet Ink design, it was at first a bit annoying, and later more of a compliment when posters were stolen at an increasingly frequent rate (and at my own cost!)

Then again, rather than feel discouraged by such theft, one young artist (Magdel Fourie) suggested that I plan a poster exhibition, with posters - still limited prints - available at the minimum possible cost. Various artists whose work I had photographed were approached to take part in such an exhibition, and iArt agreed to make their gallery available for what has culminated into this group exhibition.

Artists whose work is on show include: Diane Victor, Berco Wilsenach, Cobus Haupt, Pieter Swanepoel, Eric Duplan, Magdel Fourie, Guy du Toit, Wilma Cruise, Gordon Froud, Johann Moolman, Sarel Petrus, Egon Tania, Ladiné Joubert, Erna Bodenstein-Ferreira, Curt Fors and Jan van der Merwe.

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