Johan Thom / The Devil Made Me Do It

Johan Thom / The Devil Made Me Do It
07 March - 11 April 2015
Installation View
Johan Thom / The Devil Made Me Do It
07 March - 11 April 2015
Installation View
Johan Thom / The Devil Made Me Do It
07 March - 11 April 2015
Installation View
Johan Thom / The Devil Made Me Do It
07 March - 11 April 2015
Installation View
Johan Thom / The Devil Made Me Do It
07 March - 11 April 2015
Installation View
Johan Thom / The Devil Made Me Do It
07 March - 11 April 2015
Installation View
Johan Thom / The Devil Made Me Do It
07 March - 11 April 2015
Installation View
Johan Thom / The Devil Made Me Do It
07 March - 11 April 2015
Installation View
Johan Thom / The Devil Made Me Do It
07 March - 11 April 2015
Installation View
Johan Thom
Faust the African; Doctor, 2015
Found objects, builders foam and mixed media

Johan Thom
Faust the African; The Devil's Crutch, 2015
Found objects, builders foam and mixed media
124 x 30cm
Johan Thom
Faust the African; The Pugilist, 2015
Found objects, builders foam and mixed media
130 x 152 x 91cm
Johan Thom
Faust the Africa; The Law Giver, 2015
Bronze
74 x 70cm
Johan Thom
Faust the African; The Merchant, 2015
Found objects, builders foam and mixed media
122 x 44 x 47cm
Johan Thom
Faust the African; Health and Sanitation, 2015
Found objects, builders foam and mixed media
160 x 61 x 40cm
Johan Thom
Faust the Africa; Death, 2015
Found objects, builders foam and mixed media
150 x 55cm
Johan Thom
Faust the African; The Explorer, 2015
Found objects, builders foam and mixed media
50 x 40cm
Johan Thom
Self portrait in glass plate gold and mixed media, 2014
Black American walnut wood, hand cut glass plate and gold
94 x 96cm
Johan Thom
Faust the African; The Enfant Terrible, 2015
Found objects, builders foam, mixed media
110 x 600cm
Johan Thom
Faust the African; The Narcissist, 2015
Found objects, builders foam and mixed media
130 x 500cm
Johan Thom
Faust the African; Prospector, 2015
Found objects, builders foam and mixed media
165 x 176cm
Johan Thom
Faust the African; The Musician, 2015
Found objects, builders foam and mixed media
90 x 60cm
Johan Thom
Self portrait in copper, 2015
Copper cast
142 x 62 x 80cm
Johan Thom
The Engineer, 2014
Found objects, builders foam and mixed media
55 x 123 x 78 m
Johan Thom
Faust the African; Fallen Angel, 2015
Found objects, builders foam and mixed media
73 x 150 x 65cm
Johan Thom
Faust the African; The Writer, 2015
Found objects, builders foam and mixed media
158 x 530cm
Johan Thom
Faust the African; The Navigator, 2015
Found objects, builders foam and mixed media
156 x 61cm
Johan Thom
Die Wiehann Verslag, 2015
Found objects, Rosewood, bronze and mixed media
400 x 124 m
Johan Thom
Faust the African; The Dictator , 2015
Found objects, builders foam and mixed media
172 X 32cm
Johan Thom
Code of Conduct, 2015
Found objects, pine wood and mixed media
289 x 40 m
Johan Thom
Faust the African; The Gambler - Loyalty, 2015
Found objects, builders foam and mixed media
45 x 156cm
Johan Thom
Faust the African; The Handyman and The Ferryman, 2015
Found objects, builders foam and mixed media
The Handyman (135 x 80 x 760 m) The Ferryman (123 x 80 x 760 m) Diptych
Johan Thom
Coal stove, 2015
Found objects, builders foam and mixed media
177 x 140 x 110 m
Johan Thom
Two Fucking Typewriters, 2015
Found objects, builders foam and mixed media
304 x 46 x 132 m

Johan Thom / The Devil Made Me Do It - Installation View

07 March - 11 April 2015

Johan Thom / The Devil Made Me Do It - Installation View

07 March - 11 April 2015

Johan Thom / The Devil Made Me Do It - Installation View

07 March - 11 April 2015

Johan Thom / The Devil Made Me Do It - Installation View

07 March - 11 April 2015

Johan Thom / The Devil Made Me Do It - Installation View

07 March - 11 April 2015

Johan Thom / The Devil Made Me Do It - Installation View

07 March - 11 April 2015

Johan Thom / The Devil Made Me Do It - Installation View

07 March - 11 April 2015

Johan Thom / The Devil Made Me Do It - Installation View

07 March - 11 April 2015

Johan Thom / The Devil Made Me Do It - Installation View

07 March - 11 April 2015

Johan Thom

Faust the African; Doctor

Johan Thom

Faust the African; The Devil's Crutch

Johan Thom

Faust the African; The Pugilist

Johan Thom

Faust the Africa; The Law Giver

Johan Thom

Faust the African; The Merchant

Johan Thom

Faust the African; Health and Sanitation

Johan Thom

Faust the Africa; Death

Johan Thom

Faust the African; The Explorer

Johan Thom

Self portrait in glass plate gold and mixed media

Johan Thom

Faust the African; The Enfant Terrible

Johan Thom

Faust the African; The Narcissist

Johan Thom

Faust the African; Prospector

Johan Thom

Faust the African; The Musician

Johan Thom

Self portrait in copper

Johan Thom

The Engineer

Johan Thom

Faust the African; Fallen Angel

Johan Thom

Faust the African; The Writer

Johan Thom

Faust the African; The Navigator

Johan Thom

Die Wiehann Verslag

Johan Thom

Faust the African; The Dictator

Johan Thom

Code of Conduct

Johan Thom

Faust the African; The Gambler - Loyalty

Johan Thom

Faust the African; The Handyman and The Ferryman

Johan Thom

Coal stove

Johan Thom

Two Fucking Typewriters

Goodman Gallery Johannesburg presents THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT, a solo exhibition by Johan Thom.

Thom is a multidisciplinary artist, frontrunner of a Now Generation of South African practitioners drawing on dramatic histories while creating self-reflexive journeys. His work encompasses two disparate elements: dark humour and light tragedy. It deals with the dividing line between the self and the other where the former fulfils the role of a crazy loner seeking agency, while the latter is a real life arbitrator of reason and knowing. The irony of his work lies in the artist’s prejudice against the self, and in his act of looking outward towards something materially positive. Thom works across a variety of media including sculpture, video, performance, drawing, printmaking and photography. As protagonist Thom places himself in different contexts where he is set to endure often-painful outcomes.
But pain is incidental, and although the audience may perceive that the artist is consciously using his art to liberate himself from ordeal, that is not so.

Thom calls pain, ‘more a basic material requirement of the art work. It’s a game of perception. I enjoy making my viewers squirm or getting them involved via empathy. In that sense I am a real bastard.’ His work has involved the act of physically entwining his face and chest with fishing gut (in Bind/Ontbind2, Venice, 2003), licking sand off anthills (in Licked Colony, SA, 2011), painting his face with gold leaf, honey, flour and oil while defacing a gallery wall (in Figurehead, Rotterdam, 2010), and having sump oil and milk poured into his outstretched hands containing Buddha statuettes sewn into his skin (in Thank You, Bodh Gaya in India, 2011). The forthcoming exhibition at Goodman Gallery Johannesburg sees Thom casting himself as a new, yet classically familiar, character in the evolving dramatis personae of his oeuvre. Doctor Faustus is a known type in the history of world drama.
A seeker of knowledge at a price, Faustus is also a popular signifier with a familiar personality, and image, in European culture that has enjoyed undue dominance, even in Southern Africa.

The exhibition will consist of a series titled Faust the African made up dozens of heads cast from a 19th Century bust of Faust, in builder’s foam, and inlaid with found objects making a macabre and carnivalesque gallery of types . These include an explorer, a gambler, a musician as well as the well-worn men one would find on a travelling vessel, taking an epic journey of exploration. Video, discarded books, drawings on blackboard ink and cast bronze artifacts complete the hellish depiction of a semi-fictitious person seeking out dangerous territories.

Biography

Thom was born in Johannesburg in 1976. In 2008 he relocated to London to pursue a PHD on ‘Materiality in contemporary fine art’ at the Slade School of Fine Art on a Commonwealth scholarship. His works have been included in exhibitions His works have been included in exhibitions at the Venice Biennale (2003); the Canary Islands Biennale (2006); the Palazzo delle Papesse (2008); the Johannesburg Art Gallery (2004, 2005); and at the Iwalewa Haus (2010) in Germany. He is an active presence in the art research community and has participated in conferences and workshops at dOCUMENTA (13) (2012); the University of Cambridge (2009); GradCam in Dublin (2010); the Finnish Academy of Fine Art (2010); the Slade School of Fine Art (2010, 2011, 2012); ‘Real Presence’ at the Venice Biennale (2005); the University of Bayreuth (2010) and elsewhere. He is a lecturer in Fine Art at the University of Pretoria. In 2013 his work was included on the group show [Working Title] at the Goodman Gallery.