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1965, born in Sakkieskamp, Wellington. Died 21st December 2007

Siko’s artistic 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.

1993 - 94
Associated with the Paarl Arts and Crafts Groups.
Designed tapestries for the Babatane Spinners and Weavers.
Started to work as an artist full time.
1987 - 89
Studied Art at C.A.P. in Woodstock (Cape Town Community Arts.)
Worked as a Labourer on the Du Toits Kloof Tunnel (Concor Hochtief)
Kuyaza High School, Dimbaza Ciskei.
1980 -84
Simon Hebe High School in Paarl.

The Cape Gallery.
The Cape Gallery.
Police College, Paarl.
Auto Atlantic Gallery, Cape Town.
Fleur Gallery Wellington.
Oude Pastorie Museum, Paarl.


Telling our story; group exhibition at The Cape Gallery
Talking about Cape Town, group exhibition at The Cape Gallery

Siyakubona, group exhibition at The Cape Gallery
Social Synergy, group exhibition at The Cape Gallery

The Group Exhibition “Encompass” at the Cape Gallery


Ubuntu Exhibition, Cape Gallery,
Diemersfontein. Lisbon ' 98. Music and Art - Bang Gallery.
Bayerische Hypothekenbank, Hamburg,
Galerirforum Sparkasse Elmshorn,
Bayerische Hypothekenbank, Hanover,
HypoVereinsbank, Rostock.


Kaapse Landing by die Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees Oudtshoorn,
Rust en Vrede, Cape Town,
Laanrust Gallery Paarl,
Bien Donne Paarl.
Theodore Heuss Akademie, Friedrich-Naumann-Sstiftung, Gummersbach,
Zundholzfabrik, Friedrich - Naumann-Stiftung, Lauenburg,
Kanzlei RWWD, Hamburg,
Sudafrika-Woche, Dresdner Bank, Lubeck,


Art against Apartheid Exhibition, S.A. Parliament, Paarl.
Gallery DG HYP Wintergarten, Hamburg,
Generalkonsulat der Republik Sudafrica, Hamburg,
Prolinguis Sprachenclub, Hamburg,


South African Association of Arts, Cape Town,
The Cape Gallery,
Parliament Chambers,
Volkskas Bank Atelier Award Finals Exhibition, Sasol Art Museum, University of Stellenbosch,
Bright hues and Jewellery, Alfred Mall Gallery Waterfront,


Fleur Gallery, Wellington,
Nederberg Farmers winery, Paarl,
Association of Arts Pretoria,


Life Trust Art Centre, Paarl,
Villeria Wine Estate, Simondium,
Cape Gallery, Cape Town,


Oude Pastorie, Paarl,
South African Association of Arts, Cape Town,
Clan William Art Gallery, Clanwilliam,


Veld and Vlei Gallery, Paarl,

1990 - 93

Daljosafat Art Foundation Summer Shows.
Jane se Kunshuis Summer Shows.


Cape Trienials, Cape Town,


University of Westville, Durban.
"Eye of an Artist" Italian Embassy, Cape Town.


St. Georges Cathedral, Cape Town.

Engen, Cape Town. Cape of Good Hope Bank, Cape Town. Community Arts Project, Woodstock, Cape Town. Westville University Durban. Centre for African Studies, U.C.T. University of Western Cape, Mercantile and General/ Swiss Re-Life, A.B.S.A. Bank.

Engen, Cape Town. Cape of Good Hope Bank. Lutheran Church Bellville. Juta Publishers Ltd.

Botaki, exhibition 2, written by Mario Pissarra for Old Mutual Asset Managers, 2005
Tribute, December 1996,
Mercantile and General/Swiss Life Annual Financial Report 1995,
Max Mai 1997, Hamburg,
S.A. Contemporary Arts Directory 1997.

Solomon Siko
View larger image
Title: Still Life with Cows Head
Size: 59 x 88 cm
Media: Oil
Price: R 20 000 Framed

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