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by Andries Loots
artist Willie Bester achieved a new highlight in his career this week when one of his
works was sold at a Sotheby's Auction in London for £10 000. The work came from a
private collection and was sold with some others by well known South African artists like
David Koloane, Ester Mahlangu. After the sale the comment was made that the world
should start investing in South African art that has been neglected like Latin
American Art, but which is still very affordable.
This unleashed a new interest in our local artists who can feel proud that they achieved this during their careers. Willie Bester is a fine example of one of these young artists.
Bester was born in 1956 in Cape Town. As a young boy he started making his own
presents for friends. He started by utilizing the objects from the township that he
came from as inspiration for his work and pieces of scrap metal, coke tins and
any odd objects found their way into his collage works. These works are three dimensional
creations and portray the objects found around the everyday existence of the people of the
township. During the struggle years of Apartheid, he was seen as one of our major
started his first career as a dental assistant but soon started earning more
from his paintings. He is currently managed by his wife Evelyn.
puts it, " It is very difficult to throw away anything as I always need these
things in my paintings later." Willie sees rubbish dumps as symbols of the community
in which he lives and to show people that something can come from this, he assembles
pictures from it. His rich vibrant works are combinations of found objects which he
gathers from the very townships he depicts. His pictures also comment on everyday
life in the township of people in the Western Cape.
Willie is not a solitary artist, and this reflects in the many different philosophies and approaches in his work.
Willie decided to create a home which would reflect him as an artist and with the help of Carin Smuts of CS Studio Architects they designed a work of art. The end product resembles one of his artworks in every way.