July 08, 2023 - August 05, 2023
Louis Kok Artist's Statement
Traditionally Graffiti art and tagging is created in public spaces anonymously as it is considered vandalism and therefore illegal. For this reason, graffiti artists and taggers had to develop their styles and tags to build a unique signature, building a reputation and voice within the public eye.
Graffiti art has since grown into more than just anonymous street art, with many artists gaining such a following of admirers as to be considered world renowned and sought after by art collectors.
In this body of work, Louis delves into his own identity, that of a descendant of the historical Griekwa, Adam Kok and adopting, Griekwa, as his tag name. Within his work are traditional symbols associated with the Griekwa culture, such as the praying mantis. Within any modern culture or group of people, however, it is almost impossible to ignore how cultures are intertwined and how one affects or influences another. Louis’ depiction of Queen Elizabeth and the Christ image are further symbols of outside cultures and beliefs that have influenced and merged with the traditional Southern African culture.
There are many types of events that appear to be international issues that bind us on a global level irrespective of culture or geographics. The funding of war machines over the funding of nurturing people.
No matter who you are, no matter where you are… you are not anonymous and your voice counts.