Delta Humanness: A solo exhibition by Reece Swanepoel
26 April - 17 May 2019. EGLAF Contemporary, Potchefstroom.
This exhibition investigates the ambiguous nature of being human.
“What is human? What is humane? What is humanness? We are classified as animals, yet as a species we are so very distinct. Look at what we have accomplished, and how much we have destroyed. The changing of humanness has always been a persisting interest. It is of paramount importance to know who we are, how we got here, where we are going and why?” – Swanepoel.
Through his visceral portraits, Swanepoel explores the human condition in a contemporary psychological context. His subjects vary from the people he meets in the street to a great amount of self-portraits. He does not use sitters or models to represent a specific identity and although he often uses photographs as an initial reference or starting point, he quickly breaks away to give way to spontaneous creative process and imagination.
Transcending representation, Swanepoel’s interests lie in expression and the conveyance of abstract emotion. Drawing inspiration from Modern artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat, Frank Auerbach, Francis Bacon, Egon Shiele and Mark Rothko, his works are often described as Neomodern, referencing to Metamodern or Post-postmodern philosophical thought and reactions to the alienation birthed by postmodernism. Through his work, Swanepoel not only strives toward sparking an empathic dialogue between the viewer, the artist and the piece, but also explores a vision if universal empathy and interpersonal living, employing his artworks as a weapon against indifference. Swanepoel believes in the raw power art has to remind us that we are humans with a need to recognize emotion.