Eddie Botha - Friendly Animals
Eddie Botha’s work is both personal and indifferent, sentimental and light as he examines human interactions deeply. Born in South Africa, Eddie is a well-travelled multiculturalist, dreamer, comedian, nature lover and activist whose search for cultural identity and sincere relationships is expressed through his highly detailed drawings and paintings of people and society. Using pen, paint, newspaper and collage, Eddie depicts intricate, intimate scenes filled with a cacophony of characters who colour the everyday streets.
Nothing in Eddie’s works is by chance. Combining a love of street art with the sensitivity of penmanship, a series of conversations about human nature, people, technology, media, politics and sexuality unfold before us using a complex language of colour, symbolism and metaphor. Upon first glance you will smile at familiar individuals as they are depicted in their most candid states: a beach bum, a suited man, a young punk. However, further contemplation of these seemingly sweet figures reveals a darker, more profound meaning embedded within each work- one that touches on the psychological and the humanitarian. Whether in groups or alone, each figure is revealing of one of society’s many sentiments- from brave excess, humility and beauty to greed, fetish and despair.
Although dominated by recurring human faces and bodies, Eddie’s work also touches on the interaction between people and nature, people and technology, animals and animals. For him, nature and the technological often underpin many of our human experiences. By juxtaposing us with them, hard with soft, biological with material, Eddie prompts us to reflect upon the ways that contemporary contexts shape ourselves and inform our behaviours.