Conrad Botes

conrad botes


Conrad Botes was born in 1969 in the Western Cape. Part of his childhood was spent living in a Department of Water Affairs prefab house on the edge of the Theewaters Dam. His father was a teacher at the local school. Listening to Conrad Botes tell stories of the characters that peopled his childhood world one can see how he has been able to develop his eye for targeting the soft underbelly of Afrikaanerdom and by extension South African culture. It does not take much to imagine Botes out on Commando during the Boer War and it is this dichotomy between who he physically is and his mental space that makes his work so powerful.

Together with Anton Kannemeyer, Conrad Botes is one of the founders of Bitterkomix, a rude almost abusive, cutting publication which the two started as students to jolt the establishment and enliven the lives of their gleeful peers, and which is still published regularly. The Bitterkomix publications have grown to be something of a national institution. Botes proudly relates how one of their comics was the first publication to be banned in the free South Africa, and Claudette Schreuders tells how Kannemeyer and Botes were able to keep their supply of beer going through university with the sale of postcards that they made from Bittercomix.

Conrad Botes elaborates: "With the comics, we're dealing very specifically with a South African audience who know what we're referring to. Originally we wrote them in Afrikaans, so many of the references are to things in Afrikaans culture. The paintings I make are much more personal. I can explain them if I have to - but I'd much rather not. It is difficult to explain something that you are meant to feel. People can formulate their own ideas about the work, the viewers reaction is more important than my own explanation".

With his monoprints, silkscreens, lithographs and other work on paper, Conrad Botes indisputably proves his status as 'torchbearer of the Post-Pop movement in South Africa', according to Alet Voster from the AOP gallery.

With his icons of atavistic males and females, including the 'tortured soul' and the femme fatale, Botes mocks conventional notions of individualism and 'humanism', ranging from romantic love to self-flagellation. Botes has been portrayed in critical literature as the 'posthuman' artist par excellence (Ashraf Jamal, 2004). That said, he gives the sweet sentimentality, typical of many of Post-Pop's practitioners, a bittersweet edge in his latest work.

Botes uses Post-Pop's preference for 'sugary infantilism' to reflect on contemporary society. In such a society, religion is irreverent, violence is desirable, sadism institutionalised, and the individual triumphant in his existential crisis. Botes' work achieves an interesting fusion of the pastoral with contemporary realities and aesthetics: flowers are often wounds in his works and birds are harbingers of doom. Detached hands refer to creativity.

To view more of Botes's work take a look at:

Conrad Botes Archive

Artists at The Artists' Press A -L (by surname)

Artists at The Artists' Press M - X (by surname)

New Editions

Lithographs 2014

Artists Statement: "The set of three new landscapes was born out of my recent exhibition at Stevenson Johannesburg entitled Zombie Babylon, which looks at the relationship between consumerism and zombie culture. I tried to approach the traditional genre of the landscape in a different, almost forensic way. By discarding the romantic content of the traditional landscape, I was left with the formal aspects of landscape drawing which I then combined with ascorbic colour and pattern." Conrad Botes 2014

To read a Mail and Guardian review on the Zombie work, click here.

Title: Landscape I
Medium: Five colour lithograph
Paper size: 57 x 76.5cm cm
Edition size: 25
Price: R 6 500 (excl.VAT)

Title: Landscape II
Medium: Five colour lithograph
Paper size: 57 x 76.5cm cm
Edition size: 25
Price: R 6 500 (excl.VAT)

Title: Landscape III
Medium: Five colour lithograph
Paper size: 57 x 76.5cm cm
Edition size: 25
Price: R 6 500 (excl.VAT)

Title: Self Portrait
Medium: Five colour lithograph
Paper size: 42.2 x 42.2cm
Edition size: 9
Price: SOLD OUT

Title: Tsavo Lion I
Medium: Three colour lithograph
Paper size: 42.5 x 54cm cm
Image size: 29 x 41cm Edition size: 15
Price: R 4 500 (excl.VAT)

Title: Tsavo Lion II
Medium: Three colour lithograph
Paper size: 42.5 x 54cm cm
Image size: 29 x 41cm Edition size: 15
Price: R 4 500 (excl.VAT)

Earlier lithographs

conrad Botes, conrad botes prints, south african art

Title: Beggar
Medium: Five colour lithograph
Paper size: 50.7 x 60 cm
Image size: 42 x 49.5cm
Edition size: 30
Price: R 5 150 (excl.VAT)

conrad botes, conrad botes prints, conrad botes lithographs

Title: Valley of Death
Medium: Medium: Five colour lithograph
Paper size: 50.7 x 62.5cm
Image size: 40.5 x 53cm
Edition size: 30
Price: R 5 150 (excl.VAT)

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Title: Scavenging
Medium: Five colour lithograph
Paper size: 50.7 x 51cm
Image size: 39 x 40cm
Edition size: 30
Price: R 5 150 (excl.VAT)

conrad botes, south african print makers, contemporary african art

Title: Protest
Medium: Five colour lithograph
Paper size: 50.7 x 64cm
Image size: 40.5 x 54.5cm
Edition size: 30
Price: R 5 150 (excl.VAT)

conrad botes, south african contemporary prints, conrad botes artwork

Title: Master's Voice
Medium: Five colour lithograph
Paper size: 47 x 58cm
Image size: 36.3 x 48cm
Edition size: Edition size: 30
Price: R 5 150 (excl.VAT)

conrad botes lithographs, conrad botes art, conrad botes limited edition prints

Title: Haunted
Medium: Four colour lithograph
Paper size: 65.6 x 50.7cm
Image size: 56.4 x 42.2cm
Edition size: 30
Price: R 5 150 (excl.VAT)

CONRAD BOTES, south african art, south african printmakers,

Title: Children's Story
Medium: Medium: Eight colour lithograph
Paper size: 106 x 75cm
Image size: 101 x 72cm Edition size: Edition size: 30
Price: R 11 500 (excl.VAT)

Detail: Children's Story


conrad botes, conrad botes prints, south african comics, south african artists

Title: Cain and Abel
Medium: Medium: Eight colour lithograph
Paper size: 106 x 75cm
Image size: 101 x 72cm Edition size: 30
Price: R 11 500 (excl.VAT)

conrad botes, south africa art, south african lithographs

Detail: Cain and Abel


conrad botes, conrad botes prints, south african print makers, south african  fine art

Title: Pink Burden
Medium: Seven colour lithograph
Paper size: 66 x 50cm
Image size: 45 x 38cm
Edition size: 15 Price:SOLD OUT

conrad botes, conrad botes new editions, conrad botes prints, south african art

Title: Title: Passion of the Witrot
Medium: Seven colour lithograph
Paper size: 66 x 50cm
Image size: 45 x 38cm
Edition size: 15
Price: R 5 750 (excl.VAT)

vita art winner 2004

Title: Mermaid
Medium: four colour lithograph
Size: 38 x 49cm
Edition size: 30
Price: SOLD OUT

conrad botes, joe dog

Title: Detective
Medium: four colour lithograph
Size: 38 x 49cm
Edition size: 30
Price: R 4 000 (excl.VAT)

News from the studio where Conrad Botes made these prints