“Wall Power” is the term I hear most often when people talk about my work. I make art about the similarities between “us” and “other” but these ideas are usually as fragmentary as they are persistent. The porous boundary between my internal world and my perceived reality produces hypersurrealist artwork. I am constantly disassembling and reassembling identities so I use whatever ideological material is at hand, allowing each concept to first take physical shape then piecing my theories together around it. Like found objects of the mind.
I am also deeply curious about the unifying forces in humanity. I choose subjects and stories that are unlikely to match with expectations or contexts because it’s when we strip away expectations that we find real connection and meaning.
I create compulsively so I’m fortunate that a very dedicated group of art collectors, institutions and private art patrons support me in my many and wide-ranging creative endeavours. Thank you for joining me in my creative exploits, you are a primary part of my creative process.
Formal Artist presentation documents
A note for new collectors
In the institutional art world there are two formal, written works that seem to make someone a real artist: The “Artist’s Statement” and the formal biography. One is written in 1st person and the other in 3rd person. There is no reason for this except convention.
For some artists, the statement alone is more valuable than the work. The story more interesting than the art itself. In fact, sometimes the statement is the art. Without these pieces of writing, regardless of the nature of the work, we are “outsider artists” who nobody takes seriously until after we die.
So here are mine.
I seek out the crux –
themes of belonging, exclusion, home, otherness, independence, self expression and boundaries;
my work is a meditation on what it means to be a human.
Not just now or in this culture, but is there a thread we can find that is our core nature?
The point of connection, the moment of struggle.
I talk with the demons that guard my true path.
Befriend them, express them and place them in positions of high regard.
I walk along the cracks between sides, the fissures in the whole
The things which pierce my armour are what I need to paint:
that which is most alive, most conflicted, most unresolved.
Finding and flipping every switch I find inside myself, just to see what it illuminates.
I want to know why two perfect notes create dissonance,
and what has to happen to make them beautiful together.
Kim Mobey (born 1980) is a self-taught South African artist. Her work has sold through commercial galleries and private commissions since the age of 16, and she began regularly exhibiting in 2003 with her first solo show, sponsored by Sanlam Private Investments, in 2011. In 2017, when she was selected as a finalist for the PPC Imaginarium awards for her sculpture “In This Skin”, her three-dimensional work gained wider recognition, being shown at the Turbine Art Fair, the Johannesburg Art Fair and the Investec Cape Town Art Fair. In 2019 her portrait “Nora in Winter” was selected for the Top 40 shortlist for the Sanlam Portrait Award.
Within her humanistic approach, she is deeply affected by ancient mythologies and modern science. Though her work is rooted in reality and documented histories, she makes generous use of artistic license to explore intersectionality, playfully upturning notions of aesthetics, gender, race, age or class – and reflecting her questioning of fixed identities and how these bear out in society.
Since 2019 she now largely eschews the conventional gallery scene. Keeping a tight rein on her practice and availability, she limits her commercial gallery exposure, while supporting her practice through corporate and private commissions, design consulting and the support and patronage of a dedicated group of collectors, sponsors and philanthropists.
Her current work includes painting, sculpture, installation, public murals, music, writing, design, engineering and performance along with consulting and education.
2017 – The V&A Watershed, Cape Town “Art Africa Fair”
2017 – UJ Gallery, Johannesburg, PPC Imaginarium Finalist
2017 – Turbine Hall, Johannesburg “Turbine Hall Art Fair”
2018 February – Cape Town “Investec Cape Town Art Fair”
2019 August – Rust en Vrede Gallery, Cape Town “Sanlam Portrait Award”
2020 November – Zeitz Mocaa, Cape Town “Home is where the Art is”
2021 May – Rust en Vrede Gallery, Cape Town “Not A Portrait”
2021 September – The Cape Gallery “Wildlife 2021”