Zander Blom unexhibits at Gallery Mayer in Kultur Duesseldorf and discussed with Karin Schedler and Michael Strahl.
THITH Zine Archives
South African artist Zander Blom makes work that hits both with conceptual weight and incredible emotional resonance. He’s turned his house into a constantly moving, heaving piece of art, made records and books and recently embraced the seemingly more settled role of “Easel Painter”. We wanted to know more.
ZANDER BLOM: There’s not much I can add to that without launching into a long story about how I grew up. I don’t know what else to tell you, so here comes the long story:
I grew up in an environment where every wall was painted a different color, and there were paintings, murals, and assorted crafts all over the house. You couldn’t stretch your arms without knocking some object off a table or a wall. Rugs and decorated pots and statues and plates and vases, tassels on every door handle, not an open spot in sight. My mother is a Jeweler, potter, painter and general expert of all sorts of crafts. Our family home was filled with her creations. The moment my siblings and I were old enough to hold a brush we became part of my mother’s project.
ZANDER BLOM: We helped paint the murals; we made pottery, jewelry, drawings, paintings, etc. We were also regularly roped in to repaint walls, or move furniture around when there needed to be a change, and change was a constant phenomenon. We had a little holiday home at the coast. There were murals on both the front and back walls. Every room was sponged a different color with gold stars spray-painted on the blue ceilings. Every year we would paint something a new color and add new things to the murals. This is how my mother liked to spend the holidays. The front of the house was pink, and the murals on it featured a lion, some birds, and plants. It looked a like a Henri Rousseau painting. The back of the house was turquoise. The murals on it displayed a beach, an underwater scene, and some more birds. The lounge was bright yellow and my mother painted a Christmas tree on the wall in the corner of the room. It wasn’t any kind of Christmas tree you would expect either. It was a massive creeper like plant in a pot. The stems looked like they were floating in the sky but at the same time crawling up the wall. She and my father hooked little Christmas lights to nails all over the painted pot plant and we laid all the presents on the floor underneath it. There was another similar plant in a pot painted on the front of the house that also had lights hooked to nails all over it. It was lit up on December holiday nights. People would walk past the house and stop and stare at it for ages. We would laugh and peer at them through the windows.
Zander Blom wurde 1982 in Pretoria geboren und lebt in Cape Town. Seine erste bedeutende Werkreihe, “The Drain of Progress”, wurde ausgestellt in Johannesburg (2007), Cape Town (2008) und London (2009). Es folgte “The Travels of Bad”, welche in Johannesburg und Cape Town (2009) ausgestellt wurde.
Darauf folgende Einzelausstellungen fanden statt am Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah und Atlanta, Georgia, USA (2011–12), in der Galerie van der Mieden in Antwerpen, im 5x6x9 in Berlin (2010). Gruppenausstellungen umfassen “The Evolution of Art 1830–2140”, Kuckei + Kuckei, Berlin (2013), “The Global Contemporary: Art worlds after 1989”, ZKM Karlsruhe (2011), “Ampersand”, Daimler Contemporary, Berlin (2010), and “.ZA: Young art from South Africa”, Palazzo Delle Papesse, Siena, Italien (2008). 2014 erhielt Blom den Jean-François-Prat-Preis.
Blom Zander Christmas Gallery Mayer Susanne Ristow