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Top SA Visual Artists Participate In A Simultaneous Multi-City Art Installation

For the first time in South African art history, three of the country’s top artists will simultaneously showcase artworks using 1000s of malt grains in their works. In a unique national art installation, the artists – Sindiso Nyoni, Yay Abe and Baba Tjeko – will exhibit their three striking artworks in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg from August 3rd.

Inspired by the theme “In the right hands, pure malt becomes pure art”, in collaboration with Stella Artois, the artworks will be placed in iconic South African cityscapes – Sandton Square, V&A Waterfront and Umhlanga Gateway.

Award-winning, multidisciplinary, self-described Afrocentric artist, Baba Tjeko’s piece will capture a modern African couple’s intimate moment and will be exhibited at Umhlanga Gateway Shopping Center in Durban.

“Anyone can pick up a brush and paint, but a true artist creates a masterpiece. Pure malt is similar to other art materials and, for me, represents endless possibilities. It is a raw material that I am using to create a beautiful & meaningful artwork that I hope people can connect with. The work’s purpose is to invite people to savour life together and enjoy special moments,” said Baba Tjeko who portrays African ideas and perspectives through his Litema artwork, a form of Basotho mural art composed of decorative geometric patterns, mostly in black and white with hints of mainly blue, yellow and red.

Sindiso Nyoni, whose piece will be exhibited at Sandton Square in Johannesburg, has been described as a contemporary illustrator, activist, street-artist, and multi-disciplinary graphic designer who tackles some of Africa’s most pressing issues in the form of visual art.

“I’m really curious to be working with malt and mastering it in the piece as an artistic medium. My piece is called ‘Lady and Man’. It’s an ode to couples, the spirit of a union and special moments, in living colour,” said Sindiso.

Working primarily in pencil, ink, pastels, gauche, acrylic and digital media fusion, Nyoni creates a subversive “street style” and his work has been showcased as far afield as New York, London, Berlin, Madrid, The Guggenheim Bilbao Museum, and The Museum of Modern Art in Mexico City.

“We believe that while all beers have the same ingredients, our brewers are likened to artists creating masterpieces. Similarly, we asked Baba, Sindiso and Yay to take the same ingredients of Pure Malt and create Pure Art. The installation is also our contribution to the aesthetic of our cities while examining what it means to be human in the belief that art has the power to bring people together,” said Marsha Kumire, Brand Director High End Africa.

Relishing the large-scale format that painting murals provides, Cape Town artist, Yay Abe’s artwork for the series is distinctively set in the Mother City and will be set on two large sculptures at the V&A Waterfront.

“Creating art using malt is an exciting task. I really wanted to create a piece of art that is inclusive of the viewer and allows you to walk around and appreciate the pure craftsmanship behind the piece as well as the company of others. For me, the bigger the space and the more challenging the medium, the better it is,” said Yay Abe.

Also known as Russell Abraham, Yay established his namesake illustration studio for artists of colour in Cape Town, working with anything from t-shirts, to take away boxes and walls, the designs of which “undoubtedly bring the ordinary to life” according to S-Mag.

The installation of “Pure Malt In The Right Hands Becomes Pure Art” will run in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban until end August.