ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: FRANCES GOODMAN | The Royal Portfolio
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20 April2020

by Nicole Sorour

The Silo Hotel's Art Concierge Irene Boaventura discusses the work of Frances Goodman.

many are stuck at home we wanted to share the stories of a few of the incredible young African artists showcased at The Silo Hotel. As many independent artists and other creatives suffer the economic effects of Covid-19 we thought it would be a good opportunity to show some appreciation for their work and all that they bring to our guest experience. As Liz Biden is quick to explain, “art brings a space to life”.

The Silo Hotel has over 300 pieces of contemporary African art. The Biden family have carefully curated the collection in collaboration with a number of local art galleries. The intention is that it should be in-keeping with that of Zeitz MOCAA below.

Frances Goodman’s ‘Blue Velvet’ was commissioned for The Silo Hotel and hangs in the ground floor lobby of the hotel. Our duty manager and art concierge, Irene Boaventura, loves nothing more than to take guests on tailored art tours. While Irene isn’t able to do that right now, she wanted to share a few insights into the work of Frances Goodman.

Born in Johannesburg in 1975, Frances continues to live and work in the city. She has established her practice by tackling often avoided issues, such as feminism, consumerism, and excess, in a unique and unexpected manner. She continually probes the underlying extremes of pop-culture: indulgent consumption, obsession, desire, and anxiety. As a new-age feminist, a lot of her work is made from materials used in the beauty industry that she refashions into art.

She comments on the torture women go through in attempting to meet society’s mould of what it means to be “beautiful and glamorous”. She also uses things like sequins and pearls to ‘over-glamourize’ certain images and to create ‘sexy’ images of woman. The meticulous labours of beauty maintenance regimes, such as those found in hair and nail salons, are represented by the repetitive and meticulous gestures used to create her artworks.

Frances approaches her critique of beauty-product worship and all it’s obligatory connotations, by ‘using their weapons against them’. Through means of installation, photography, sculpture, and sound pieces, she subverts, re-appropriates and juxtaposes her mediums. Creating simultaneously suggestive, alluring and arresting pieces that leave one questioning the original intended function of these untraditional art-making materials such as false nails, jewellery accessories, false eyelashes, and diamanté.

Frances’ work reflects a society in which objects can define and burden people, with an extreme amount of time and money invested in an industry which suggests that personal betterment can be found in a product. However, her work also celebrates the use of these materials as symbols of empowerment. Women often appropriate the beauty industry’s complexities as a means of self-expression and displays of individualism.

Frances Goodman’s work forms part of numerous significant public and private collections, including the PérezArt Museum in Miami, USA and the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) in Cape Town, South Africa.

Be sure to follow The Silo Hotel’s Instagram account to be notified when our next Artist Spotlight goes live! 

Artwork By Frances Goodman

Images courtesy of Frances Goodman and the SMAC gallery.

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