Fanie Buys

"Grimering", the Afrikaans word for make up, has a strangely grating sound: something soft and pliant raked across one’s larynx. This body of work is inspired and drawn from soft porn made for magazines like "Loslyf" and "Scope" in the 80s and 90s. Pictures of women contorted to present pleasure: teased, tanned, and lacquered in to the same colours and shapes. “Grimering” is a meditation on the mildewed images that shaped the sexuality of many men my age: the last great heists on secret places with forbidden books. Like makeup these images are used to hide, but also to keep the reality of a cruel industry hidden. I’ve made these works on paper and used a process of chemical treatment and pressure to give the impression of an oil painting as a flat and shiny print (ironically this is usually the other way around). The works show women chosen to emulate my memories of the magazines I have discussed above. The women seemed to me, a young gay man, incredibly glamorous and powerful: able to rapturously seduce the men I so badly wanted to pay attention to me. The paintings, viscous layers of shellac, are bouquets of memories and contradictions.

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