|1965, born in Sakkieskamp, Wellington. Died 21st December 2007
consciousness was formed in the aftermath of the Soweto uprising in 1976.
He participated in the first free and democratic elections 1994. In these
years Siko underwent an intense self examination as he searched for a
viable way to be South African and also a part of the world.
The concept of “Ubuntu” is central to the African National Congress’s goal as they pursue a policy of a ‘non racial society.’ ‘Ubuntu’ essentially means that you are only a person because of other people, and you can only grow and develop if you help other people grow and develop. Charlene Rolls, writing for Fair Lady, suggests the concept has become a commodity on every Human Resource Manager’s list saying ‘We have to ask if South Africa’s lost a real sense of what it is – before we even had it.'
In painting ‘Engagement’ Siko would seem to be romanticizing the cape. A man propositions a woman over a glass of wine. They are seated on a verandah laced with Victorian caste iron. In the garden a Strelitzia flowers. Table Mountain is visible across the bay behind them. The destination, the wine, the flowers and the painting are all for sale...
A keen satirist and visual narrator, Siko chooses his images for their strong associative values to make a moral point. He seeks empowerment, participation and a voice for all in a post colonial world.
The traditional response to a greeting in Africa is ‘I see you!”This is a excerpt from the 2005 Cape Gallery Solomon Siko invitation, written by Gail Dorje.
Siko's vibrant paintings on heavily textured and engraved board are the theatre for a richly imaginative portrayal of 'Street Life'. Siko loves to sketch the world around him. He combines these sketches in his larger studio pieces. The integration of his different sketches requires that he be fully articulate in the visual language he chooses. Humour is a positive force in our multicultural society: Siko, with his real gift for charicature, is still gentle in his application.
Solomon Siko studied Art at C.A.P. (Community Arts Project) in Woodstock, Cape Town from 1987 to 1989. Siko has displayed his work at The Cape Gallery since 1992.
Siko, as Peter Clarke says, was born with a powerful creative drive. He is a man of integrity and one who does not take his impressive talent for granted. He walks a difficult path in redefining values with care. He upholds the precept of 'Ubuntu' - that is a mutual respect for another's culture. Siko, as a respected member of his community, has also become a cultural envoy for South Africa, with his works owned by people nationally as well as internationally.
Gallery hours: Mon to Fri: 9h30 to 17h00, Sat: 10h00 to 14h00
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60 CHURCH STREET CAPE TOWN 8001, TEL: +27 21 4235309, FAX: +27 21 4249063