ARTIST STATEMENT

My artwork is primarily based on creating a visual language to augment a futuristic state of indigenous knowledge systems in the context of globalization and the 4th industrial revolution complex. Within my work, I use my Tswana heritage to contextualize my outlook on the ethereal concepts that inform my work.

As a multimedia artist, I work with various media such as acrylic paint on canvas and various surfaces, CGI animation, and Mixed Media.

I have created my own visual calligraphy script, which is a proposed visual language/ script for the nation of Azania (Protest name for South Africa). It is meant to spark a sense of awareness of owning up to one’s own identity, and also to think about what it is to be an African in the contemporary context of the global village.

THIS WORK IS BASED ON...

My ICA 2020 online Fellowship project is entitled, ‘Bokamoso Tota’, which is a Setswana phrase that translates to ‘Future Indeed’. This body of work is an extension of my solo exhibition, Bokamoso (Future), held earlier in March 2020 BC (Before COVID). 

The first Covid-19 case was reported on the 3rd March 2020, which was the day before my solo exhibition opening at AVA gallery. Around that time, the socio-political landscape was not as alarming regarding the global pandemic, as most South Africans had not been as affected as compared to the present period.

King Debs

King Debs

King Debs is a Cape Town-based, South African artist who focuses on multimedia art and design after attaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Multimedia Design and Technology at the Tshwane University of Technology in 2010. King Debs draws his influences from his Tswana heritage and lived experiences as a child born in Mafikeng and raised in Tshwane (Pretoria). His current work illustrates a profound interest in African identity, scriptoria, handstyles, and indigenous ideographics. His work has been shown locally at renowned spaces and galleries such as Gallery Momo in Cape Town, Gallery One11, Imibala Gallery , AVA gallery, Thupelo Workshop with Greatmore Studios, and St. Lorient in Tshwane. Internationally, Debs’ work has been exhibited at Los Angeles Center For Digital Art (LACDA) in the USA, and in Chester Art Fair  in the UK in 2018; he was a finalist for his digital art.  In 2020, King Debs’s work was showcased in London at arebyte Gallery, and in the first-ever virtual National Arts Festival. He has also shown his work at the Iziko Museums of South Africa Cape Town in 2019 and 2020, as well as at The National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Bulawayo

As a multimedia artist, King Debs is accustomed to using different media ranging from 3D digital art, calligraphy, and animation. The work King Debs creates is centered around themes of identity, socio-political commentary, life and death, and the human condition at large. After many years of experimenting with different media, King Debs has developed a visual language that encapsulates his ideas around empathy and humility in the ever-expanding information era.

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