SOUTH AFRICAN ART HISTORY AND THE REPRESENTATION OF THE PENIS- DUMILE FENI

Dumile Feni is Panga Managements favourite South African artist. PM is not ashamed to admit that PM even has a T-shirt that says “PM loves DF”. For all of you who have not heard of him or his work, your loss. PM stands on this here blog platform and proclaims that if you don’t know his work, you have a spineless, floppy, ineffectual and lacking South African visual arts education. PM will shove this point a little further and say that if anyone says only a white artist would paint a penis, “cause it’s not in African culture to show the penis” they are, drum roll …wrong. Dumile Feni on many occasions depicted his figures – penis, tits, ass and all , rendered on paper for the world to see. And holy mother of Gward, his work is compelling. The man was a Gward damn genius! As the say in law the penis has president (PM could not resist)PM meant to say- precedent-of course.

Dumile Feni, from the Nina series (black ink on paper)

PM has cut and pasted the below from here, to assist in your re- education. PM would hate for you all to be brain washed by  bullshit utterances from politicians and general commentators with no knowledge of  visual arts history in South Africa. Frankly we should look long and hard at this Murray-Zuma The Spear situation, and ask ourselves “What would Feni do” , what would Feni have said about this? PM wishes that he was here today.

“The death in exile of one of Africa’s greatest contemporary artists was a blow to South African art. Dumile Feni, born May 21, 1942 left South Africa for exile in 1968, after the powerful statements made in his work resulted in harassment by the apartheid security forces. Feni contributed hugely to the African 20th century art world, and also to the struggle against apartheid. His works show anguished figures, often contorted as if in immense pain. The figures are clearly African as, according to the artist, ‘My subjects are Africans because they are my people, but my message, the idea I am bringing to put across has nothing to do with racialism.’
Feni died in New York, in 1991, just before he was due to return home. He died in abject poverty and didn’t live to see the dawning of a democratic South Africa.
He held several group and solo exhibitions. In 1966 he won a Merit Award on the SAB Art Prize Exhibition. In 1971, he was awarded first prize for a bronze sculpture in the art competition of the African Studio Centre in Los Angeles and in 1967 he represented South Africa at the São Paulo Biennale. Feni was commissioned to sculpt the first African Nobel Peace Prize winner and ANC president Albert Luthuli. In addition, he showed all over the world and worked with the United Nations to commemorate Namibia Freedom Day in 1983. Feni participated in the ‘Voices from Exile’ exhibition that toured the United States in the mid-80s. His work is to be found in all major South African art museums and individual collectors include President Thabo Mbeki. His work is also found in collections in the USA, the UK, Sweden and Israel.”

Dumile Feni, African Guernica (1967)

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4 Responses to SOUTH AFRICAN ART HISTORY AND THE REPRESENTATION OF THE PENIS- DUMILE FENI

  1. Love it!!! From MaGirl / Art teacher

  2. mumble says:

    Nude paintings of the Prime Minister of Canada are not that controversial, it seems.

    Naked painting of Stephen Harper hangs at Kingston Public Library

    http://www2.macleans.ca/2012/05/18/naked-painting-of-stephen-harper-hangs-at-kingston-public-library/

    http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/sunnews/politics/archives/2012/05/20120517-205129.html

  3. mumble says:

    By the way, the Stephen Harper portrait is hanging between two Pollocks.

  4. Pingback: SOUTH AFRICAN ART HISTORY AND THE REPRESENTATION OF THE PENIS- DUMILE FENI |

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