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23 March2020

by Nicole Sorour

The Silo Hotel's Art Concierge Irene Boaventura discusses the work of Jody Paulsen.

As the world attempts to navigate the uncertainty caused by COVID-19 we wanted to share some insights into the work of some remarkable young African artists whose pieces are displayed at The Silo Hotel. 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.

Because all of the art is contemporary, many of the artists are young and looking to make a name for themselves both locally and internationally. The Silo Hotel provides a wonderful showcase for this young talent and provides an opportunity for our guests to get to know some of the amazing creativity found in Africa.

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, we thought she could share some of her insights digitally.

Our first Artist Spotlight introduces the bold and vibrant work of Capetonian artist Jody Paulsen. Two of his pieces hang in The Silo Hotel Lobby on the ground floor – Must Be The Rain and So Exotic – these were commissioned by Liz Biden especially for The Silo Hotel. There is also a piece by Jody Paulsen hanging in the entrance to the Granary Café. Creating felt collages since a young age, Jody has always been drawn to this means of expression.

Born in Cape Town in 1987, Jody continues to live and work in the city. He creates indulgent felt assemblages that flaunt salient juxtapositions of image and text in vivid, highly-saturated colours. He obtained his Master’s degree in Fine Arts, graduating from Michaelis School of Fine Art in 2013.

His process of production for a single collage usually takes weeks to complete. Jody finds it cathartic to isolate himself while working on upcoming exhibitions. During this time, he will record his obsessive thoughts meticulously inside a daily journal. He then collages these thoughts into a text, similar to the way a poem is constructed. These texts are then used in his magnificent felt creations.

He uses felt as the most colourful, vibrant medium that ‘pops’ out of the canvas because of its 3D nature – similar to traditional African street vending signs.

These felt collages contain a translation of vernacular icons, clichés and slogans, combined with the iconographic imprints of consumerism. Visual cues that range from luxury-branding to political motifs and popular culture memes all illustrate Jody’s layered conceptual premise in which text plays a vital role.

The phrases and words, that appear seemingly flippant or humorous in these felt compositions, together form literary statements, that act as amalgamations of poetry, chronicles and soliloquies abstracted from the artist’s personal experience. Jody is involved in the fashion industry – he designs clothes and he models. He uses his work to comment on contemporary Capetonian life and pop culture.

Jody’s work forms part of various collections at Zeitz MOCAA (Museum of Contemporary Art Africa) as well as many exhibitions at the SMAC gallery, just to name a few.

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

Artwork by Jody Paulsen

Images courtesy of the SMAC gallery, Jody Paulsen and Neil Roberts.

 

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