Contemporary Art

Live Auction, 16 February 2019

Contemporary Auction

Sold for

ZAR 136 560
Lot 26
  • Diane Victor; Teaching Your Hyenas to Sing

Lot Estimate
ZAR 80 000 - 120 000
Selling Price
Incl. Buyer's Premium & VAT
ZAR 136 560

About this Item

South African 1964-
Teaching Your Hyenas to Sing
smoke drawing, chalk and charcoal on paper
98,5 by 149cm excluding frame


Diane Victor uses figurative realism to create richly allegorical images. Animal subjects, including hyenas, recur throughout her much-admired drawing and printmaking practice. Romulus and Remus (2009), a print in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, depicts the mythological Roman twins as squabbling infants, one black and one white, being suckled by a hyena. Bad Word – Hyena (2017), a work also made from deposits from candle smoke, considers how this animal is idiomatically used to speak about human vices. ‘I am seduced by working with smoke because of its ephemeral and vulnerable nature for dealing with difficult subject matter … Smoke has a fluidity and an ambiguity where you are only a guide – you cannot tell it what to do … My interest is in taking materials that are seen as discarded materials like smoke or dust, and, in an alchemical way, reengaging with them in an image.’1

Sean O’Toole

  1. Diane Victor, artist walkabout at Goodman Gallery, Cape Town, 23 June 2018.


Rossouw Modern Art Gallery, Hermanus FynArts Festival, Second Lives: Diane Victor and Gordon Froud, 10 to 19 June 2016.

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