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From Hero to Zero: An Artist’s Take on South African Politicians

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Cape Town artist, Campbell Lak, takes a playful take on past and current major political events by transforming beloved comic book characters. From ‘JjACOB ZUMA THE ORIGINAL ZUMATELLO’ (above) and ‘NELSON MANDELA IS SUPER-MAN’, Lak brings a fresh approach to the country’s ever-so-gloom democratic soap story.  

 

AA Newsletter Aug12 Lak 2Campbell Lak, detail of JjACOB ZUMA THE ORIGINAL ZUMATELLO, 2016, Digital Photography of Modified Ready-Made Statue.

“I have this huge collection of valuable comic book character statues, which I wanted to use in an exhibition. At first I played with the idea of painting on these ‘toys’ and then showcasing them in perspex boxes, but the more I experimented with photography and monochrome colours I discovered a beautiful irony in relating these heroes and villains painted in black and white to our local past and present politicians,” comments Lak.

The techniques used by Lak relates to that of Marcel Duchamp's artworks - Movement as concept, Mechanical as concept, and irony as concept, by selecting specific found objects and taking pictures of them. “It also comments on my need to explore new mediums to paint that can be deemed unorthodox or lame by introducing the element of chance,” says Lak.

AA Newsletter Aug12 Lak 1Campbell Lak, detail of NELSON MANDELA IS SUPER-MAN, 2016, Digital Photography of Modified Ready-Made Statue.

One of the digital photographs, "JjACOB ZUMA THE ORIGINAL ZUMATELLO", uses the duplication of the letter "j" in the name "Jjacob" the same way Duchamp did in "Rrose" in one of his works. 

Lak will be exhibiting his debut work at Art De Sade Gallery in Cape Town from 04 to 25 August 2016. A walkabout with the artist is scheduled for the Saturday, the 13th of August at 10am, everyone is invited.

 AA Newsletter Aug12 Lak 6Campbell Lak, detail of New Concepts, 2016, Digital Photography of Residency Space at Art De Sade Gallery.

For more information, please visit http://www.campbelllak.com/.

Campbell Lak Artist is also on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/CampbellLakArtist 

 

 

About Campbell Lak

Campbell Lak (born 1987) is a South African artist who lives in Cape Town. He holds an honours degree in Mechatronic Engineering from the University of Stellenbosch.

 
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