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Meschac Gaba (b. 1961)

Lot 37: Meschac Gaba (Benin, born 1961) Voortrekker Monument (2007)

Bonhams 3

October 6, 2016
London, United Kingdom

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Description

Meschac Gaba (Benin, born 1961)
Voortrekker Monument (2007)
braided artificial hair and mixed media, with fibreglass bust
60 x 28cm (23 5/8 x 11in).
Footnotes

Provenance
Michael Stevenson Gallery, Johannesburg.
Private collection, South Africa.

Exhibited
Johannesburg, Michael Stevenson Gallery, Tresses, August to September 2007.

Literature
Michael Stevenson and the Johannesburg Art Gallery, Tresses and Other Recent Projects, (Johannesburg, 2007), illustrated.


Voortrekker Monument belongs to the artist's Tresses series, in which he recreates iconic architecture in the form of braided hair sculptures. The project originated in 2006 when Gaba undertook a research trip to South Africa. Travelling around Johannesburg, Cape Town and Pretoria, he selected ten buildings to work with, photographing them and making sketches. On returning to his studio in Cotonou, Benin, he reconstructed the buildings from artificial hair. The present lot depicts the Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria.

These 'wig buildings' were the subject of his first solo exhibition in South Africa at the Michael Stevenson Gallery in Johannesburg. Other buildings to receive his attention were the Castle of Good Hope in Cape Town and the Sentech Tower in Johannesburg. Kitsch and easily identifiable, the hair sculptures wryly critique the increasing consumerism of the tourist industry. The artist suggests that whilst technological advances have made international travel more accessible, it has also trivialised the experience.

Bibliography
Michael Stevenson and the Johannesburg Art Gallery, Tresses and Other Recent Projects, (Johannesburg, 2007).

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Bonhams 3
October 6, 2016, 2:00 PM GMT

London, United Kingdom