Flesh of the Spirit 220, 2018

Miami Beach 2019
Stephen Friedman Gallery
Sculpture
Bronze
52.8 x 24.9 x 24.9 (cm)
20.8 x 9.8 x 9.8 (inch)
'Flesh of the Spirit' continues his renowned series of the same name in which he interprets the idols and masks associated with African cultures. As a white South African artist, Geers questions how recent history has constructed African identity through apartheid and the post apartheid period. Reworking these fetishised objects into bronze sculpture, Geers suggests some of the vanity and status the ‘primitive’ has cultivated in Western culture. Geers has always worked closely with his roots as an African Artist in an exorcism of identity, throwing his white African roots up against the wall of sociopolitical interrogation. Being both white and African, an artist living in exile, a freedom fighter who grew up in struggle against Apartheid, his work is difficult to define in singular terms, always layered with contradiction and contrast. For Geers, the most pressing issue that art faces today is the reanimation of spirit, to return art to its spiritual function, the intercessor between worlds. "Artists, shamans and priests have been drawn to the spiritual and healing properties of resins in their work. The natural resins like Myrrh and Oliban (Frankincense) favored by the ancients have since given way to synthetic resins as the needs of industrialization and global consumption have eclipsed the need to respect our environment. "Flesh of the shadow Spirit" is the embodiment of the demon in the synthetic age, the spirit of fossil fuels, the oil slick of the contemporary present. Like water slipping through my fingers my art is about spiritualizing matter and materializing spirit." - Kendell Geers