Vusi Beauchamp is a mixed media artist whose practice focuses on painting, drawing and the deliberate use of stencil technique. His paintings form a socio-political critique commenting on both South African and global political phenomena, especially related to questions of race and inequality today.
His works often show stereotype images of ‘the Black figure’, pointing to the ongoing and often unquestioned use of these images within contemporary visual culture. By citing these, the artist at the same time highlights and mocks their continuous existence through exaggeration. Marked by bold gestures and expressive colors, the works present a satirical, yet distinctively humorous comment on the various issues addressed.
Vusi Beauchamp’s artistic practice is characterized by the use of various methods, including spray painting and stenciling as well as materials such as crayons, charcoal, oil sticks and acrylic paints. The interplay, and sometimes opposition between these different materials highlights the energy and immediacy carried within the paintings’ message.
“The “coon” [derogatory expression for a black person] imagery is still very much alive today … My works continue to use the image of the ‘coon’ so as to take away the power it has over black Africans and expose its legacy that continues to this day.”
Vusi Beauchamp was born in Mamelodi, ZA, in 1979. He studied painting and printmaking at Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, and graphic design at Damelin College, Cape Town, both ZA. His work has widely been shown throughout South Africa. In 2018, Bode Projects introduced the artist to the European continent. Vusi Beauchamp lives and works in Johannesburg, ZA.