Jaco du Plessis
Based in Israel
What do you aim to say by the themes in your art?
My work centers around the male and how we fit into society, the way in which we are perceived, how we react to the world around us, and more importantly the feelings, emotions, and thoughts that men struggle with. Portrayed as pillars of strength my work delves into how we got to this reference point and how in modern times this is sometimes far from the truth.
Where does your inspiration come from?
My work is highly personal drawing from personal experiences, situations, moments of hurt and pain to feelings of uninhibited joy. These experiences also move into the circle of people in my life and how their situations impact them. Lately, I have found that popular culture - movies, music, and other art - have evoked new inspiration and this is particularly true when look at the latest series Augend & Addend.
Do you have any experiences that have impacted your art?
After years of not working on any art, I was elated to once again have an outlet for so many things that have happened in my life. My first venture back in creating linocuts saw me draw on life experiences relating to social media and the sometimes- destructive effects it has on us as people. It is from delving into these experiences that I have found my art resonates with people as the conversations they start are almost universal. And this is what I want my art to do - to start a conversation.
Do you feel your art challenges existing barriers?
Art through the ages has always had an underlying "rebelness" to it. From challenging the way in which people saw the world, dealing with the world's perception of sexuality to creating work that people simply don't get. My work continues this in some form, mainly in that I don't shy away from telling my stories, showing the male form, and challenging your perception of the subject matter at hand.
What are your long-term artistic goals?
I would love for my work to reach a point where people can instantly recognize it as a "The Grey Printer" work, but more than that for it to continue to intrigue people, for them to talk about it, and for the work to be enjoyed and to connect with people. It would also be a dream come true for me to have a solo exhibition of my work - for my artistic voice to be seen and recognized.
What advice do you have for aspiring artists?
My advice to anyone who sees a future as an artist or wants to create art would be to always be true to yourself. Tell your stories the way you want to tell them. Secondly, keep on making art! There will be times when you feel like no one understands, no one likes or cares about your work but if it makes you happy, gives you a voice then you should continue your journey.