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Rising Stars 2013: Skullboy

Where did you study and how long have you been practicing for?  I studied graphic design at the Durban University of Technology and have been ‘professional’ for about 4 years now. How would you describe your work and yourself as a practicing artist? Honest. Exciting. Fun. If I’m not having fun or getting a cheap thrill while creating an artwork, why would I expect the viewer to either? It’s fluid and energetic and ever changing. I’ll go to other exhibitions and think, ‘When did art stop being fun?’ So when I work, if it’s not honest and exciting, then it’s not me. What works are you busy with currently and what can we expect next? I’ve just wrapped up a small solo show here in Durban and made it to the top ten of the ABSA L’Atelier Art competition. At the moment I’m working on the 2nd issue of Art Wurld with Russell Grant. It’s something really different and I’m learning more and more about the joys of collaborating with really talented people. We’ll see what magic we can work. Do you have a favourite piece or project that you've worked on? Why is it your favourite? It’s probably the ‘You & Me’ project that I completed last year. For a year, I collected the true-life stories of how local Durbanites lost their virginities. From this research, I chose 100 accounts and created 100 individual artworks based on the stories. It was a long, taxing project but it was worth it. I felt that it really dealt with a real, universal issue that is acknowledged but never discussed. [The work] started a discussion with the viewer. I believe in work that is personal and emotionally engaging and I think that the project did just that. What about your work makes you most proud? The fact that I’m still ‘unresolved’ as an artist – I’m angrily bludgeoning my way through artworks to find my own unique voice and I think it’s exciting to watch. I’ve definitely got a long way to go but I don’t see anyone else making the same sort of work that I am. As an artist, you’re not afraid to push a few boundaries. Would you consider yourself to be a controversial artist? I’d like to think so, in a sense. Like I said, my honesty as to where I am as an artist and person is something I don’t see in a lot of other work, so maybe that’s it. The truth can be a very controversial thing. View Skullboy’s past and latest work via For more Rising Stars interviews, click here. Text Lisa Wallace