8 November - 15 December 2012
For this exhibition Botes continues his recent series of paintings on canvas while also showing his distinctive reverse-glass paintings, sculptures and drawings. The paintings on this show have evolved from the religious imagery he presented at his last exhibition at the gallery in Cape Town. He has continued to explore repetition, the effect of which is to make sacred images, especially, more overtly consumable. Over the past few months he has also been fascinated by the optical effects of colour, and has created paintings that pulsate with a psychedelic intensity. The result is an unlikely and unexpected presentation of iconic images. Another series of paintings features horrifying imagery, yet rendered in beautiful and optical colours that simultaneously seduce and repulse, reminding us of how our perceptions are influenced by colour.
The title of the exhibition is inspired by the song Hobo Babylon (2002) by Deadbolt, who describe themselves as 'The Scariest Band in the World' because of their dramatic displays using power tools in their concerts and their violent and provocative lyrics. For Botes, the pairing of the words 'Zombie' and 'Babylon' acutely conveys the impoverished dream-like reality of modern life, in which most people's daily experience resembles a blurring of soap opera and horror movie. The consumer in contemporary society is already a zombie, the walking dead, living in the shadows and chasing illusions of happiness through insatiable and mindless consumption, inevitably remaining discontent. Botes' imagery in the paintings on this exhibition serves as allegories of how some dark force has seemingly taken over our minds and left us lost, wandering in malls and trawling the internet for distraction from our intense dissatisfaction with life.