Conrad Botes, Anarchist (part of Terrorist and Anarchist diptych), 2011_TNCM Collection

- Born in Ladismith, Western Cape, Conrad Botes is known as an artist and co-founder with Anton Kannemeyer of Bitterkomix, a satirical illustrated publication.
These paintings on canvas are rendered in a distinctive brushstroke characteristic of Botes’ linear graphic style. The diptych pairs a pious, Virgin Mary, her palms open and outstretched with a nude woman, her arms raised behind her head. They are covered with teardrop shaped Ben-Day dots typically used by Pop Artists like Roy Lichtenstein. Behind each figure, glowing lines radiate like a halo. At the centre of each woman’s chest are crudely drawn figures – on Mary’s chest a fallen woman weeps into her hands, her entrails spill out, flames lick around her head and a horned devil kneels on all fours beneath her; the nude woman’s chest depicts a woman standing with one hand on her hip, the other yielding a sword, dismembered heads lying at her feet.
Botes’ work is often marked with cynicism and contradiction, exploring the paradoxes between religion and fanaticism, anarchy and revolution, good and evil. This diptych disrupts pre-conceived ideological representations of women as passive objects.