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Vusi Beauchamp

Artist 157

Vusi Beauchamp

Exploring identity past Stereotypes


Vusi Beauchamp (born 1979) is A South African artist who specializes in printmaking and painting. His work is an explosion of a vibrant combination of popular culture, satirical and social political commentary

Beauchamp’s paintings are created by using various methods, including spray painting and stencilling as well as materials such as crayons, charcoal, oil sticks and acrylic paints.

His work comments on social issues, politics and events that make up the current South African social/political landscape, and are considered the artistic version of satirical journalism and social critique, often somewhat controversial.

From a show he gave in 2016 at Fried Gallery Beauchamp describes, “I feel through layering I am erasing the history but through layering they stay [anchored].”

He strives towards creating challenging conversations.

They draw on difficult topics of black male representation in the 21st century. They problematize the role of mass media in creating stereotypes.

The art draws on his South African upbringing in how global media forms a part of that identity. His wit is dangerously sharp, with his incorporation of language drawing on the primitive side of things and masterly drawing all these themes together.

Vusi Beachump evokes a consciousness. He reflects how heroes and idols in popular media should be revealed as complicated relationships. He breaks away from ‘soft targets’ and reflects a vulnerability as he deals with travelling through what a black male identity is.

His works force an introspection which is difficult and reveals more questions than answers. He strives to reconstruct the preconception of a black artist and takes personal accountability for his situation.

Through his investigations he takes away the powers of colonial representation and commercial mass media projections of his identity. He resists ‘cult’ movements searching for a deeper perspective.

His works revels in collusion of African pop forcing you to question.

Sources Consulted:

‘Pop Violence: taking away the power of representation’ Monica Blignaut, Artist Blog 2016


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