Anton Kannemeyer is a South African comics artist, who sometimes goes by the pseudonym Joe Dog. Kannemeyer is also a senior lecturer at the University of Stellenbosch. He studied graphic design and illustration at the University of Stellenbosch, and did a Master of Arts degree in illustration after graduating. Together with Conrad Botes, he co-founded the magazine Bitterkomix in 1992 and has become revered for its subversive stance and dark humor. He has been criticized for making use of “offensive, racist imagery.” Kannemeyer himself said that he gets “lots of hate mail from white Afrikaners.”
His works challenge the rigid image of Afrikaners promoted under Apartheid, and depict Afrikaners having nasty sex and mangling their Afrikaans. “X is for Xenophobia,” part of his “Alphabet of Democracy,” depicts Ernesto Nhamwavane, a Mozambican immigrant who was burnt alive in Ramaphosa in 2008. Some of Kannemeyer’s works deal with the issues of race relations and colonialism, by appropriating the style of Hergé’s comics, namely from Tintin in the Congo. In “Pappa in Afrika,” Tintin becomes a white African, depicted either as a white liberal or as a racist white imperialist in Africa. In this stereotyped satire, the whites are superior, literate and civilized, and the blacks are savage and dumb. In “Peekaboo,” a large acrylic work, the white African is jumping up in alarm as a black male figure pokes his head out of the jungle shouting an innocuous ‘peekaboo!’ A cartoon called “The Liberals” has been interpreted as an attack on white fear, bigotry and political correctness: a group of anonymous black people (who look like golliwogs) are about to rape a white lady, who calls her attackers “historically disadvantaged men.”
Anton Kannemeyer’s visit is co-sponsored by the Concilium on Southern Africa (COSA) at Duke.
An endowment established in 1983 through the generosity of Nancy and Robin Hanes supports the Art Department’s Visiting Artist Series. This important program brings both established and emerging artists to campus to discuss their work in public lectures and to offer individual critiques to our M.F.A. students. The Hanes Visiting Artist series greatly enriches both our academic programs and our outreach to the wider community. All lectures are free and open to the public.
Artist website: http://www.jackshainman.com/artist-images24.html
UNC Art Department: art.unc.edu/index.htm
Contact: Cary Levine, firstname.lastname@example.org
Image credit: W is for White/B is for Black, 2011, 150 x 220 cm, black ink, pencil and acrylic on paper, courtesy of the artist