Archive: Issue No. 82, June 2004

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What motivates curators and art buyers to purchase artworks? This simple question is the premise for Gallery Choice, a monthly feature that aims to reveal who (public museums/corporate collections/private galleries) is buying what (artist), and why.



Institution: gordart Gallery
Artist: Guy du Toit
Title: They all look the same to me, hey
Media: Bronze
Dimensions: unknown

"Guy du Toit's sculpture, titled They all look the same to me, hey, and subtitled Four Brothers, is a work comprising four bronze heads on swivelled steel bases. These heads are made up of an amalgam of features grafted onto a Benin-style sculpture. They are almost cartoon-like. The features of each are similar although the bronze casting process and the intervention of the artist's hand has rendered each individual.

Each sculpture has a slightly different patina that makes them look more like stone than bronze. I find the work very engaging, not only because of the subtle humour it embodies but also because of the work's kinetic properties. The figures are great to spin in unison on their bearings.

The figures are ironic because they are the same being cast from the same mould, but are not at the same time. The title refers to an idiom of popular speech adopted by white people when speaking about black people. Unable to refer to specific features, the "other" was simply deemed to "all look the same to me".

This work forms part of an ongoing study of the treatment or perception of the "other", particularly as seen through the eyes of the author/ artist. It is an issue that du Toit has been exploring for his Masters degree.

This subject matter of his work is very relevant to the depiction of people in this overly sensitive and politically correct country of ours, and makes strong references to the wrongs of the past. Du Toit's sculptural works are strong, totemic, familiar and yet ironically fresh.