INTERVIEWED BY Lindi Brownell Meiring IMAGES Henry Richard Summers
Wesley van Eeden, aka Resoborg, is exhibiting at Salon 91 in Cape Town as part of an exciting group exhibition. We caught up with him to find out more about his latest body of work since returning from New York.
You’re part of a new group exhibition at Salon 91 with Andrzej Urbanski, Paul Senyol, Andrew Sutherland, Jade Klara and Dani Loureiro. Describe, in one word, what you admire about each participating artist?
Passionate, driven and happy.
What’s different about your latest body of work?
There is a significant shift that I wanted to take with this new body of work. Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to visit New York (which VISI featured here) and meet some incredible painters. I got to watch them work and I was really inspired by this. My older work was heavily inspired by thick lines – Barry McGee is probably my biggest inspiration.
However, I wanted to develop a more painterly aesthetic from what I saw when I was in the Big Apple. I have also started working bigger. My previous exhibitions often involved found wood and I created clustered installations, while now I paint on birch wood, framed up. I also worked exclusively in acrylic.
Being self taught I have learnt quite a bit. I have also begun exploring abstraction, which is new territory for me. The exhibition is titled This Is The Place and I wanted to look at things around me that I could be inspired by. One of the works, titled Pattern Politique is an abstraction of an African pattern that I am quite excited about. This body of work is certainly a transition from where I was to where I am going next.
We know South Africa influences your style, but how has your hometown of Durban influenced your new pieces?
Durban has a laid-back lifestyle that affords me the time to focus when I need to paint. I feel somewhat isolated from any “real” artistic community, but this isolation helps me to dig deeper into my imagination.
My studio is located around the CBD in an up-and-coming area on Station Drive, and it’s this environment that is a constant source of inspiration. There is an honesty and warmth that you will find here – and the weather is great. Strong African pattern-work and hand-painted signage are some of the biggest influences on my work. I like the honesty and freshness of hand-painted signs – to me it represents what Africa is all about and I like to recreate this feeling in my work as best I can.
What do you have planned for 2016?
I not only paint, but also work as a commercial illustrator, muralist and graphic designer, so I’ll be continuing with client-driven projects. There are also some exhibitions being planned in the United States, so I am looking forward to that as well.