Conrad Botes

EXHIBITIONS

On Earth as it is in Heaven is an exhibition that explores the themes of politics, violence, race and gender. This body of work explores the complex nature of disturbing content and subject matter of such themes while having the ability to transcend a positive message of understanding and tolerance.

Conrad states: “It is this disturbing content and subject matter that is at the essence of my work; that is why I often choose biblical themes as vehicles for political allegories. The story of Cain and Abel, Judas, the idea of temptation, the tree of knowledge, the 10 commandments and heaven and hell are all depictions of stories that I wish to tell. Another theme that I explore in my works is violence and its disturbing relationship between race and gender, growing up during Apartheid South Africa this theme holds the potential for exploring the intricacies of guilt and complicity while still being a fundamental issue in today’s society”.

I am mainly drawn towards the allegory and it’s ability to seduce the viewer into the narrative. I am fascinated by the subversive qualities an image can possess, where the formal aspects and the physical beauty of a work can draw the viewer in and seduce while simultaneously being confronted by disturbing content and subject matter.

In my work practices I often use different formal practices, I easily alternate between painting at the easel to working with my hands. My works posses a familiarity that viewers have seen, know, or can relate to making it easier to interpret the work and find comfort in it. The works also hold the innate possibility that beliefs and ideologies can be challenged be each and every one of us and that reality can be mimicked.

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