|Name Diane Victor|
|Education University of the Witwatersrand|
Diane Victor, (born 1964, Witbank, RSA) is a South African artist and printmaker, known for her satirical and social commentary of contemporary South African politics.
- Diane victor
- Catching ghosts diane victor
- Smoke drawings
- Solo exhibitions
- Press reviews
Catching ghosts diane victor
Victor was born in Witbank, South Africa. She received her BA Fine Arts Degree from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, in 1986.
From 1990 to the present, Victor has lectured part-time, teaching drawing and printmaking at various South African institutions including the University of Pretoria, Wits Technikon, Pretoria Technikon, Open Window Academy, Vaal Triangle Technikon, the University of the Witwatersrand, Rhodes University and the University of Johannesburg.
Victor's work uses the figure, often her own self-portrait, to create complex narratives relating to contemporary South Africa and to the more global crisis of war, corruption and violence in both the public, political and in private life. According to Virginia Mackenny, Victor's work challenges the viewer "to scour her heavily packed images, densely rich in individual detail, to discover their levels of irony and action. Singularly devoid of any classicising hope of order, these images recall Breugal or Bosch in their pessimistic view of the world and the heaping of one folly on top of another". Victor depicts reality fraught with injustice, revealing the complexity of contemporary existence. Her "ability to present her themes and subjects in a manner that all but forces our identification with them ejects us out of our complacent stupors, whether we wish it or not."
In her portfolio of prints, Birth of a Nation (2009), published by David Krut Projects, Victor explores the history of colonial engagement in Africa in the context of contemporary corruption and imperialism. She uses historical and mythological references as a platform to insert South African narratives, fusing a recognisable storyline with new characters and South African subjects.
In Disasters of Peace, Victor directly references Francisco de Goya's Disasters of War. In this series, Victor evokes Goya's criticism of the atrocities of war while demonstrating the continuation of violence after war, and in the case of South Africa, after the end of apartheid. Highlighting overlooked and everyday violence, this series draws attention to this contemporary desensitised gaze or tolerance of violence. To Victor: "The images I am working with are taken from our daily media coverage of recent and almost commonplace happenings in newspapers, on TV and on radio of social and criminal acts of violence and ongoing unnecessary deaths – occurrences so frequent that they no longer raise an outcry from our public, yet they still constitute disaster in peacetime."
Victor's smoke portraits explore subjects often overlooked, for example South African prisoners awaiting trial and missing children. These portraits capture individuals caught in a vulnerable moment, an idea reinforced through the impermanent nature of the medium used. Victor uses drawing media to capture both the subject's portrait and vulnerable condition that is somehow in-between presence and absence. Victor is attracted to the direct correlation between the fragility of human life and the susceptibility of the physical image. For Victor, "the portraits are made with the deposits of carbon from candle smoke on white paper. They are exceedingly fragile and can be easily damaged, disintegrating with physical contact as the carbon soot is dislodged from the paper. I was interested in the extremely fragile nature of these human lives and of all human life, attempting to translate this fragility into portraits made from a medium as impermanent as smoke itself"'