About twenty years ago I bought two paintings, prints, that I fell in love with. Bright, bold, abstract and erotic. I knew little about art, I think I’d vaguely heard of the artist, was nowhere close to my erotic phase, but at the time I just knew – I had to have them.
It was love at first sight.
The artist was Walter Battiss (1906-1982) who happens to be one of South Africa’s greats.
Not just in South Africa but worldwide.
Last night the Wits Art Museum opened their new exhibition – Walter Battiss, ‘I invented myself.’
The exhibit spans his five decades of work, paintings in various themes, media and style.
Abstract. Mystical. Whimsical. Beautiful. Real. Imagined. Romantic. Explicit. Political. Anarchistic. Erotic.
Each one as unique as he was.
And I am still on Cloud 9. Apart from the glitz and the glamour, the art world, the beautiful people, leopard print shoes and tons of red lipstick kiss kiss kissing, it was the feeling of being enveloped by all this art.
All this magnificent art. Over 700 works, brilliantly curated. A feast of delicious creative inspiring joy.
I wandered around then found a bench in the centre of the museum and just sat, soaking it all in. I kept being drawn to his erotica and found it interesting that Battiss only discovered erotica when he was older.
Perhaps when he was no longer inhibited.
A little like me, I like to think.
I’m home now and keep looking at the two prints above my bed. I should get them valued. They may be my future.
But I know, no matter how much they’re worth, I’m not parting with them. Ever.
They make me feel good, beautiful and inspired.
If you’re in Johannesburg, the exhibit is on for three months. The work has all been donated to the Wits Art Museum by the most astonishing generous unbelievably wonderful Jack Ginsberg. I was privileged enough to meet him last night.
I think I’m a little bit in love.
This collection is being shown at The Wits Art Museum for the first time in an exhibition, curated by Warren Siebrits. It’s astonishing.