Title: The Monotone Rainbow City
Medium: Acrylic & Mixed Media on Canvas
Artist: Cherie Roe Dirksen
Size: 760mm x 380mm
This scene is taken in Loop Street, Cape Town, looking towards Table Mountain (a little bit of the mountain can be seen in the background).
The painting tells a story about the grey area of our (South Africa’s) rainbow nation.
Here we have a simple street scene but hidden within the paint is a history of greed, opportunity and division.
I have used gold and silver spray paint as the base coat of the buildings (the connotation behind the colour gold is that of wealth and prosperity) this depicts South Africa’s mineral wealth — the foundation that built the nation. However, the buildings are now covered in the grime and dirt of time.
I have two main characters in the scene. One is a street person, sitting on top of a wooden crate. His clothes are baggy and don’t fit him properly. He is staring at the young black student on his iPhone.
This young man, the second character, represents the opportunity that the black youth have today as opposed to what might have been under the Apartheid regime. He is wearing the latest fashion and seems to want for little. He is not even conscious of the man sitting on the crate. He is too wrapped up in social networking.
The man on the crate has not had the same chance in life. He is the same age but his story is one of poverty and misfortune. He is not yet experiencing the new rainbow nation of opportunity. He is one of the many South African’s who do not benefit from the new system. Both these men are the same age yet their lives tell two completely different stories.
South Africa is a growing third world nation but it still has to iron out a lot of socio-economic problems. This painting depicts the divide in the culture that exists today.
Yet there is hope and to denote this I have given the painting a blue wash. The esoteric meaning behind the colour blue is that of youth, spirituality, truth and peace. Which is what I wish for this nation. To truly become the rainbow.
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