Curatorial Voices: Modern and Contemporary Art from Africa

Live Virtual Auction, 28 February 2023

Curatorial Voices: Modern and Contemporary Art from Africa
About the Session

Curatorial Voices: Modern and Contemporary Art from Africa is a dynamic collaborative project conceived by Strauss & Co to address the need for diversified representation of artists from across the African continent in the secondary market. Curated by Strauss & Co Heads of Sale, Kirsty Colledge and Kate Fellens, with input by seven international art experts with embedded knowledge of Africa; Serge Tiroche, Valerie Kabov, Heba Elkayal, Danda Jaroljmek, Anne Kariuki, Dana Endundo Ferreira, Kimberley Cunningham. Curatorial Voices presents collectors with a broad selection of work by leading contemporary artists alongside select pieces by important historical artists.

  • Jody Paulsen; Donatelle ver-jay-zee
  • Jody Paulsen; Donatelle ver-jay-zee
  • Jody Paulsen; Donatelle ver-jay-zee
  • Jody Paulsen; Donatelle ver-jay-zee

Lot Estimate
ZAR 150 000 - 200 000

About this Item

South African 1987-
Donatelle ver-jay-zee
felt collage
190 by 225cm excluding frame; 235 by 205 by 7cm including frame


"These brand names, logos, and symbols of commodity culture are less frivolous than they may be read to be, as they are - not only in Paulsen's work, but inside of a generational understanding of their symbolism signifiers of a much larger culture of meta-ironic, concurrently self-aggrandising and self-deprecating aspirations for leisure and luxury in the context of an increasingly unstable social, political landscape." —M Thesen Law, 20141

This lot appeared on Jody Paulsen’s debut solo exhibition, Pushing Thirty, a vivid showcase of his maximalist approach to composition that included 21 of his signature felt collages. A method perfected at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town, Paulsen’s brash ensemble pieces intermix references from pop culture, fashion, and cartoons, and often include additional text slogans demonstrating his media literacy and/or discussing his mixed-race queer identity. Paulsen credits artists Cameron Platter and Julia Rosa Clark for inspiring him to pursue an installation-based approach to displaying his work. Paulsen’s collages invite comparisons with Jeremy Deller’s processional banners and Tracey Emin’s quilts, although, attitudinally at least, his work is closer to Andy Warhol in its love affair with consumer culture. This lot references the logo of the Italian luxury fashion company Versace, a stylised depiction of the head of Medusa. The exaggerated tears recall Brett Murray’s wall-hung sculptures of baroque figures weeping from his exhibition Crocodile Tears (2007). Paulsen’s interest in fashion is pronounced: he collaborates with designer Adriaan Kuiters on a fashion range, which has been lauded by Vogue Italia, among others.

Paulsen’s work has been featured in exhibitions such as Materiality at Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town (2020); Radical Love at the Ford Foundation Gallery, New York City, NY, USA (2019); and All Things Being Equal at Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town (2017).

1.M Thesen Law (2017) 'Late Stage Capitalism Luxe' in adjective, Issue 2, Volume 1, Winter, page 75.


Strauss & Co, Cape Town, 17 February 2018, lot 25. 


SMAC Gallery, Cape Town, Pushing Thirty, 11 February to 25 March 2017. 


M Thesen Law (2017) 'Late Stage Capitalism Luxe' in adjective, Issue 2, Volume 1, Winter, illustrated in black and white on page 75.

View all Jody Paulsen lots for sale in this auction

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