Thu, 29 April 2010

A verb is a doing word, and the name for the new brand that has recently emerged from the South African Skate and art scene, writes Chris Mason, who also took the photos.

Verb was officially launched last week at the City Slickers poster show at Cape Town’s Wessel Snyman Gallery and considers itself a “skateboarding company based on creativity and progression”.

The poster show features 100 international and local artists and Verb artist series serigraphs, skateboards and clothing a sneaky Lakai shoes exhibition.

I went to check it out, and wandered into a bubbly milieu of Cape Town’s young creatives, clad in plaid and skate shoe, replete with skinny jeans and side parts. The crowd made these alternative fashion choices look cool, as well as a pleasing hum of conversation and the slurping of free red wine. The people were entertaining but the art was impressive.

There was a collection of posters, skateboards and original art pieces done by a variety of illustrators and ‘lowbrow’ SA artists including Kronk, Theory One, Matt Edwards, Louis Minaar, Black Koki, 351073, Wesley van Eeden, Jordan Metcalf, Christian Mugnai, Bruce Mackay, Alice Edy and Bison.

The aesthetic of the work was varied and fresh, from a haunting black and white image of a being with a tree growing out of its chest labelled Human Nature, very much like something out of a 90’s graphic novel, to the Picasso-Manga love-child look of late, with thin lines and lonely characters, to a post-modern totem pole look of solid lines and intricate detail.  The skate deck collection was my favourite, as I have a soft spot for art on different canvases, and the collection of boards lined up neatly together seemed to speak something of the themes and issues driving our artists today.

Dark, humorous and not entirely positive, the artworks represented to me a satirical and suspicious lot, with a huge amount of creative potential and hidden reserves of hope. Or it could have been the red wine talking, and they were just abstract drawings done on a whim by some talented young artists. The only disappointment of the night was that the advertised “free cupcakes” were nowhere to be seen, but that is to be expected I suppose, when you leave sweet treats in a room full of ravenous art naffs.

The City Slickers poster show will run at the Wessel Snyman Gallery, 17 Bree Street, Cape Town until the 30th April. For more info on the Verb range and it’s artists go to www.weareverb.com


0 #3 spike_wavescape 2010-05-03 23:15
inspirational video. Great talent. Thanks Trevor.
Trevor Paul
0 #2 Trevor Paul 2010-05-03 22:49
Trevor Paul
0 #1 Trevor Paul 2010-04-30 11:49
who was the puzzled looking bearded guy? ;) Show comes down today (friday the 30th) and ships off to London. Check it out...
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