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Live Virtual Auction, 11 - 13 April 2021

Contemporary Art
  • Steven Cohen; Five Heads
  • Steven Cohen; Five Heads
  • Steven Cohen; Five Heads
  • Steven Cohen; Five Heads
  • Steven Cohen; Five Heads

Lot Estimate
ZAR 40 000 - 60 000

About this Item

South African 1962-
Five Heads

signed with the artist's initials, dated 96 and numbered 1/1

colour screenprint on canvas
66,5 by 186cm excluding frame; 81 by 201 by 4,5cm including frame


Five Heads is a work by Cohen that addresses 'deviant' sexuality, and was made before he engaged in performance art, where he uses his own body to explore these themes. In this work the image of a young man's head is rendered repetitively in flat comic-book fashion, each head supported by corseted and feminized bodies out of which leer and glare the lipsticked, pouting, lecherous faces of a quite different persona. Implicit is the idea that behind the façade of every 'normal' and 'decent' boy lurks the freer, more joyful and irreverent 'other', a more gender-confused 'other' and certainly, within the confines of 'normal' society, an entirely unacceptable 'other'. This reading of the image is enhanced by the fact that the faces within the corsets are photo-silkscreened, their realism standing in robust contrast to the conformist, thoroughly two-dimensional heads above them.

Notes from University of Cape Town Exhibition catalogue.


João Ferreira Gallery, Cape Town, 29 October 1998.

Private Collection.


University of Cape Town, The Chancellor Oppenheimer Library, Cape Town, 2001, number 7.

View all Steven Cohen lots for sale in this auction

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