Diane Victor: Ashes to Ashes
Like Goya and Hogarth before her, South African artist Diane Victor is an artist-moralist who has used her virtuosic technical skills to expose the vices of violence, oppression and greed that have caused so much human suffering in pre- and post-apartheid South Africa. However, in her recent Transcend and the Lost Words series (2010-2011), representations of moral failings have transmogrified into the frailties of the flesh. Victorâ€™s recent fragile drawings in book ash and charcoal dust refer, in her words, to the â€œephemeral and transient aspects of human mortality.â€ The two series ask the viewer to question how death erases not only an individual life, but also a swath of cultural history. In this way, these specters bear witness to changes in South African society generally, and offer strong parallels with American culture as well.