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Fine art photographer Krisjan Rossouw demonstrates his ability to playfully explore Pop Art, whilst simultaneously challenging cultural perceptions with his Culture Club series.
Taking advantage of the immense scope of colours that tribal paint and traditional ritual clay provides, Krisjan is able to cast aside the superficial impressions of identify that stem from how others tell us we are seen.
Immerse yourself in the artworks of Krisjan Rossouw
When considering Krisjan Rossouw’s artwork in its entirety, he is renowned for his iconic tendency to cast light on his subjects in unconventional hues, tones and saturation levels for a visually striking result.
He is critical of the stigmas around cultural identities, and this theme is prominent in his works. Using various innovative materials, Krisjan explores the authentic vs. the perceived connections between one’s skin colour and cultural backgrounds, imagining endless societal possibilities.
As aesthetically vibrant and playfully colourful as Krisjan’s work is, it also conveys a powerful message regarding post-apartheid South Africa, or the “Rainbow Nation”. Each piece provides a commentary on the current global status quo of systemic division and superficial biases based on colour and culture.
Krisjan Rossouw’s artwork in his own words
As Krisjan put it himself when describing his Culture Club series, “There has been much happening in the global political landscape around division and ‘otherness’. Similarly, and particularly across Africa, there’s a growing culture of ‘us and them’ driving multiple agendas which continues to concern me.
“I needed to address these somehow, to better understand them. [This] grew from that exploration – a response to the imagined or imposed notions of who we are based on how we’re told we’re seen.
“A fictionalised parallel place where the idea of colour became celebratory – where we literally became the ‘Rainbow Nation’ – is where Culture Club came to exist. The hyperbole presented interesting possibilities to me. If we were each a different colour, what possible society would that yield?
“It’s a naïve ideal, certainly, but once I started working and shooting, a deeper resonance began to reveal itself.”
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