Friday, April 3, 2009
South African Shanties
West Portal Art Fair
Fortune Sitole's three dimensional mixed media creations pull you much closer to the subject than a painting.
Streets of stone and gravel protruding from the earth, separating rows of shanties, one of a kind yet all the same, made of corrugated metal and other materials.
Bright roofs, doorways and windows on odd shaped cubes, shacks pieced together with found materials.
Sitole's ancestors lived in shanty towns like these in South Africa. Similarly constructed towns appear throughout the world.
There is a message of sadness and despair in Sitole's works. Then, in the background, girls with hula hoops can be found in many of the his pieces. Children play other games in dirt streets. Girls skipping rope, musicians, women in brightly colored clothing carrying bags, baskets and bundles in their hands or on their heads, all are found scattered in the self assembled neighborhoods. Whatever the town is or isn't, it is still home to the residents.
Sitole can be found through Sunday, crafting new pieces between showing displayed works, at the West Portal Art Fair, in front of West Portal Bakery. As is unfortunately often the case, rain is forecast for the event.
by Phil Gravitt