Frikkie (Frederik Jacobus) Eksteen – 2010 Thamgidi prize winner at Spier contemporary in Cape Town, South Africa

Frikkie Eksteen 2010 winner of the Thamgidi prize at the Spier Contemporary in Cape Town - South Africa, will begin
his one month research residency on the 1st of October 2011. He received the Thamgidi fully funded residency prize
for his artwork Comedy of Manners.

Artist’s Statement

Comedy of Manners is part of a body of work derived from a series of official portrait paintings in the University of Pretoria’s collection. The project was motivated by the fact that two of my own portraits of former Vice-Chancellors – commissioned in 1995 and 2001 – are included in the series and my personal involvement in continuing this particular tradition became a matter of interest.

As a way of questioning the aims and uses of traditional portrait painting, photographs of the UP portraits were digitally
morphed to generate a genealogy of invented characters. A new set of paintings based on these altered images
was then created, which started what has become an ongoing visual supplement to the existing series.

Born: Pretoria, 1973. Lives and works in Pretoria. Received his BA(FA) from the University of Pretoria in 1995 and his
MFA from the University of Pretoria in 2000. A graduate in the town of his birth, Frikkie Eksteen completed his Master’s
degree at the University of Pretoria in 2000.

He has been involved in numerous group projects, which include The Trinity Session’s Broadcast quality: the art of Big Brother (2002), Bell-Roberts’ art-advertising showcase,

Mettle and paint (2003), CLEAN/GRIME: exhibitions of desaturated art (2001-2003), Greenhouse (2007) and Dystopia (2009-2010). His prize-winning Hanging Garden (2004) exhibition at the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival in Oudtshoorn is his most current solo project. Formerly a permanent lecturer in fine art and multimedia at UNISA, he currently lectures part-time at the University of Pretoria.

His work is represented in the Pretoria Art Museum, University of Pretoria, SASOL, ABSA and MTN art collections, and has been shown in London and Edinburgh as part of the Royal Overseas League exhibitions. Eksteen’s art is a multi-disciplinary permutation of traditional and non-traditional art practices, and often questions the underlying mechanisms
of representational systems. His current work is concerned with the uses and aims of formal portrait painting; pecifically its relationship to power, notions of likeness, the artist’s stylistic signature and the passage of time. He has produced a varied body of work incorporating x-ray and digital imaging, photography, animation, video, projection, painting, drawing and mushroom cultivation.