Zapiro's Democrazy Showcases 20 Years Of Work At The AVA Gallery

By: Mandy J Watson
Posted: 16 October 2014
Category: Features
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The work of prolific South African editorial cartoonist Zapiro is featured in a new exhibition that's running in Cape Town until the end of the month. Plus, get a glimpse into some work-in-progress sketches from Zapiro's archives.

Zapiro's Democrazy Showcases 20 Years Of Work At The AVA Gallery

The Association For Visual Arts (AVA) Gallery in Church Street, Cape Town, is currently hosting an exhibition of the work of editorial cartoonist Zapiro (Jonathan Shapiro), focussing on 40 pieces that comment on the political situation in South Africa - from the country's transition from apartheid into the Mandela years, through the Mbeki era, to the current Zuma circus - as well as a selection of popular sports-related editorial cartoons.

Zapiro's Democrazy Showcases 20 Years Of Work At The AVA Gallery


Zapiro's Democrazy Showcases 20 Years Of Work At The AVA Gallery


Zapiro's Democrazy Showcases 20 Years Of Work At The AVA Gallery


Zapiro's Democrazy Showcases 20 Years Of Work At The AVA Gallery

The collection is a further-honed selection taken from Democrazy: SA's Twenty-Year Trip (ISBN: 978-1-4314-1036-1), a retrospective of his work that was published by Jacana earlier this year. In the 20 years that Zapiro has been creating editorial cartoons for a post-apartheid South Africa, notably for the Mail & Guardian, Sowetan, The Times, and Sunday Times newspapers, as well as the Independent Newspapers group, he has produced over 4500 works, which he reduced to 450 for the book and 40 for the exhibition.

Zapiro's Democrazy Showcases 20 Years Of Work At The AVA Gallery


Zapiro's Democrazy Showcases 20 Years Of Work At The AVA Gallery

The exhibition also houses an extra surprise for fans, namely two glass cabinets that showcase a selection of Zapiro's sketchbooks, many of which have been opened to pages that show the work-in-progress drawings of cartoons that are on display in the gallery so you can compare the development process and final piece directly. I was absolutely fascinated by them - in fact, to be honest, they were more interesting to me than most of the cartoons up on the wall, many of which I have seen before - as it was a rare chance to examine the conceptualising, idea progression, rough sketching, and reworking that goes into developing a cartoon.

Zapiro's Democrazy Showcases 20 Years Of Work At The AVA Gallery


Zapiro's Democrazy Showcases 20 Years Of Work At The AVA Gallery


Zapiro's Democrazy Showcases 20 Years Of Work At The AVA Gallery

In between Zapiro's conversations with fans and lots of signings of books I was able to chat to him briefly about the sketchbooks. He told me that he has amassed around 70 books of work since 1994 and when he started notebooks were so expensive (they still are) that he would just have cheap ones bound out of A4 paper.

Zapiro's Democrazy Showcases 20 Years Of Work At The AVA Gallery


Zapiro's Democrazy Showcases 20 Years Of Work At The AVA Gallery


Zapiro's Democrazy Showcases 20 Years Of Work At The AVA Gallery


Zapiro's Democrazy Showcases 20 Years Of Work At The AVA Gallery


Zapiro's Democrazy Showcases 20 Years Of Work At The AVA Gallery

Originally Zapiro would only use one side of the paper as the ink would sometimes bleed through but over time he realised he was wasting paper and space so he started using both sides. His work also began to get messier over time as he became less precious about his sketch work and he increasingly started correcting sketches using Tippex and cutouts and so forth, some examples of which you can see in these photographs.

Zapiro's Democrazy Showcases 20 Years Of Work At The AVA Gallery


Zapiro's Democrazy Showcases 20 Years Of Work At The AVA Gallery


Zapiro's Democrazy Showcases 20 Years Of Work At The AVA Gallery


Zapiro's Democrazy Showcases 20 Years Of Work At The AVA Gallery


Zapiro's Democrazy Showcases 20 Years Of Work At The AVA Gallery


Zapiro's Democrazy Showcases 20 Years Of Work At The AVA Gallery


Zapiro's Democrazy Showcases 20 Years Of Work At The AVA Gallery

The exhibition is worth visiting just to see the sketchbooks but fans who would like to own their own artwork will be happy to know that each cartoon is being made available as an archival print in an edition of 25, which can be bought via the gallery. The exhibition runs until 24 October 2014.

Zapiro's Democrazy Showcases 20 Years Of Work At The AVA Gallery


Zapiro's Democrazy Showcases 20 Years Of Work At The AVA Gallery


Zapiro's Democrazy Showcases 20 Years Of Work At The AVA Gallery



Democrazy: Book, Exhibition


Tags: #arts_and_culture, #comics, #sacomics#star_wars





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