Sep 08 2014
Gatvol by Dion Cupido

Gatvol by Dion Cupido

This piece was written last year by Dion Cupido about a painting that was shown as part of his 2013 solo exhibition at Worldart. At the time the artwork was acquired for the RMB collection.

Gatvol by Dion Cupido
Flexo graphic ink, spray paint, pencil crayon and markers on canvas
Three x 120cm x 80cm

“This painting questions my understanding of myself when only looking at the obvious and presented factors. I grew up in a Cape Flats suburb called Mitchells Plain and yes, it was rough, poor and gang ridden, BUT, there were also other elements that informed my identity.

The question that appears on the righthand pannel “Do you remember what it was like for us growing up” is more about questioning perceptions than it is about a plea to remember what it was like. I am saying: “Hang on, when I listen to you, I am supposed to be one thing, but when I remember truthfully the episodes and influences of my youth, I feel that I differ vastly from your perception of me – a human being less stigmatised and more unique”. My identity was also formed by factors ranging from my heritage as related to the people who walked this same ground for thousands of years before me (as symbolised by the presence of Saartjie Baardman also on the righthand panel) to my exposure to and passion for a particular style of graffiti art as practiced in Mitchells Plain.

This painting makes me feel good because it is an affirmation of who I really am. The me that I am proud of and who I want to be, not the one whom I have been led to believe I should be. – Dion Cupido, Cape Town 2013.

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