Strangers in G-strings

Downtown Johannesburg and the makeshift studio on the third floor of the Carlton Hotel teems with squirming bodies.

I am still getting used to the idea of hanging out in a room full of strangers wearing nothing but g-strings and layers of paint. But, even through the flesh and billowing smoke and visibly frayed nerves, it is hard to miss Brendan van den Berg’s model – a tall, muscular queen decked in latex, oozing techno-trash.

Van den Bergh’s entry in the 1997 Flight of Fantasy body painting competition was inspired, I learn, by the electronically funked-up sounds of Native America on the CD Sacred Spirit.

The artist set out to work with the idea of Western civilization (particularly America) and how it steadily manipulates and colonises its indigenous cultures. His end result is titled Evoking the Spirit: kind of part cyberborg part “man-who-runs-with-the-wolves”.

A spiky crown and silver body sport a virtual junkyard of dead technology. Microwave fans and circuitry define the body’s left side. The right remains naked, capped only by a crown of flowing locks. In a world where piercing and tattoos are like second skin, it makes sense to drag the art out of its frame and make designs on a body canvas. Plus it fits the artist’s theme of disposable culture. You get to wash it all off the next day.

We make it make sense

If this story helped you navigate your world, subscribe to the M&G today for just R30 for the first three months

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.”

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

Noxy Goyi’s story of survival is one of a woman’s...

The breadwinner lost her job and, desperate not to sit at home, she started selling food on the street on a table made of bread crates. Now she employs two people

Three ‘gringos’ brave heat, mosquitos, illegal gold miners and pirates...

A Wits University accounting professor has returned from his Amazon expedition he undertook to fight climate change

Fintech firms ramp up investments in Kenya’s microfinance space

Kenya’s microfinance banks are the target of fintech firms from abroad seeking to sidestep stringent regulatory perimeters for digital lenders

Harbour views at 9th Avenue Waterside

The award-winning eatery, which offers fine wines and food, is on stilts at Durban’s harbour
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×