Traffic signs and bird

Fanoi Mhkize


Installation, variable dimensions .
Materials: mixed media

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. BRbart).

Fanozi “Chickenman” Mkhize was born in 1959 in KwaZulu-Natal, South-Africa. His artistic career started on the fields outside the Tatham Art Gallery in Pietermaritzburg, the capital city of KwaZulu-Natal. There, he made a mixture of sculptures, traffic signs and paintings, that, by his own account, reflects the situations of his direct environment. Apart from recycling found objects and materials, such as iron wires, dolls or goat skin, the presence of words in his work also attracts attention. Although his work can be seen as politically and socially oriented, Mkhize didn’t pay that much attention to the message itself, rather to the way in which the letters were put. The texts often consist of copied words and sentences with random spacing. Consequently, the message is less readable at first sight and so the audience is forced to take a closer look.

The work Traffic signs and birds is a direct translation of a dream he had as a child: he saw a meticulous sequence of traffic signs and animals on the concrete before him. In that dream he had the idea, he had made that constellation himself, and so the work came into being from the urge to recreate the image he saw.  

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