There is no shortage of artists who are dealing with the issue of race. But I do feel like there is a shortage of artists who deal with it in new and creative ways. Anton Kannemeyer is one of those selected few. In his latest exhibit, entitled After the Barbarians at the Jack Shainman Gallery he offers a collection of social commentary that questions the many ways we absorb information.
Kannemeyer incorporates text in many of his works to help support his ideas. In some work it gives it a very comic-strip like format, others play reference to children’s books, and his most centralized piece of the exhibit, portraying both former President Bush, and current president Obama resembles an encyclopedia insert. He is constantly playing on the fence between fiercely offensive and satire. Is he going for shock value to gain attention? Perhaps, but one can’t argue his level of being clever. I mean he takes a terrifying statement like “white people are going to burn” and makes it funny.
Oh and here is something to think about when you look at his work, Anton is very very white. He works often as a missionary in Africa and says that is what most of his work is commenting on. In addition to having his work on display in America, he has had shows in Kinshasa of the Congo as well.