Artist uses work for social criticism

Fadiel Herman’s with one of his pieces currently on dispaly at the Artist Gallery, in Bree Street, Cape Town. This one entitled, McDonna, a 1,3 x 1,3m work created by aerosol spray, and acrylics. “l’m always mixing classical art and pop-art, this Artwork is based on a classic Madonna faced with New-Age decisions,” he said

Multi-talented artist Fadiel Hermans, from Westridge, whose work is currently on display at the Artist Gallery, in Bree Street, in the Cape Town CBD, says he’s thrilled to also have his paintings exhibited in other parts of the world, including Kassel Stadt in Germany and Detroit City in America.

Closer to home, his work has also been used in the school curriculum for art pupils and as part of the matric preliminary exams over the past few years.

“My work is mostly contemporary painting, addressing social and current issues. Social criticism, I would say.”

This piece entitled: The Fairyland is meant to invoke parts of the spirit of District Six. “There’s a saying,” Hermans said, “invisible threads are the strongest ties”, and District Six had this undeniable thread connecting all it’s residents. This colourful neighbourhood at the foot of Table Mountain was also fondly known as “Fairyland” and was made up of largely coloured residents/Cape Malay, a number of Xhosa residents, a small number of Afrikaners, and some English speaking whites and Indians. In this painting I wanted to celebrate that invisible thread that tied them all together.

Hermans is among a few of SA artists who was selected by the Artist Gallery to have their work exhibited abroad, including at the Documenta Art Fair, in Kassel Stadt, which takes place every five years.

“And I had an exhibition in Detroit with 1XRun Gallery where 12 of my artworks were displayed and sold,” he said.

This piece entitled, McDonna, explores the concept of communication or lack thereof in modern times. “Conversation and communicating face-to-face allows us to ‘read’ each other’s facial expressions, hand gestures, body-language, in order to understand and communicate effectively,” said Hermans. “In an age where there is less face-to-face and more online interaction, we resort to using emojis, and widgets and memes to get our message across effectively.

“To paint, express myself, to tell my stories and to see my work go to all corners of the globe, was once just the pipe dream of a young Cape Flats boytjie. Today I am thankful, humbled and appreciative of the favours of my Creator.

“Hopefully, I can inspire a kid somewhere on the Cape Flats to reach for their dreams,” he said.

This artwork, entitled Bang Bang is referring to the vast amount of information and misinformation we process daily, and the choices we have to make based on these “truths”, says Hermans.“The title words “Bang, Bang” also refers to the exact same Afrikaans words when pronounced in Afrikaans, translates to “scared, scared” and the irony of having to sift cautiously through the barrage of information we face daily,” he said.