Anton Kannemeyer

Anton Kannemeyer is controversial. The zeal of preaching a new doctrine, complete with its own style, codes and insider jokes comes through in all of his work. Kannemeyer's religion is the comic. Kannemeyer's language is satire.

Anton Kannemeyer is a co-founder of Bitterkomix and is where "Joe Dog", his pseudonym was first used. Aided and abetted by Conrad Botes (Konradski), he has displayed a Duchamp-like ability to manipulate the media by generating controversy, in a full frontal assault on the Afrikaner cultural mainstream. For Kannemeyer, it has been a concerted campaign of revenge against the hated authority figures of his boyhood, his father, 'Barries' who caned him, and all the headmasters, priests, policemen and rugger buggers who in one way or another attempted to indoctrinate, punish and belittle him. His intensely personal response to the humiliations of his boyhood has since radiated out into a broader psychosexual, socio-historical critique of Afrikaner culture and South African society in general. (Extract adapted from Andy Mason, The Big Bad Bitterkomix Handbook, published by Jacana, 2006).

In the prints that Anton Kannemeyer has done at The Artists' Press, he has cast his gaze across many metaphorical landscapes. Images from his Alphabet of Democracy series have appeared regularly over the years. The first were done in 2005, J is for Jack Russell and D is for Dancing Ministers. The initial reference is to childhood primers and illustrated alphabets, Letterland gets political. The text on the prints reflects his obsession with hand done typography and the style of the prints recalls his earlier silk-screens with the backgrounds of flat colour. The appealing primer like text is deceptive; on closer inspection, the images are not so innocent.

Alphabet of Democracy is an ongoing project and is one set of alphabets that are not going to make it to the Foundation Phase classrooms of the Department of Education. These prints refer to local, South African events and some of the definitions are from dictionaries used in schools; but the meanings extend way beyond South African borders and pick up on prejudices and social issues across the globe.

In many of his prints, Kannemeyer investigates the continued existence of racism in Africa and its double standards. Prominent in his work is his continued interest in exposing the hypocrisy of the white liberal in South Africa. With his confrontational images and humour, he brings to attention prejudices and worldviews that can then be dealt with and hopefully be done away with.

Some of Kannemeyer's prints relate more to South Africa and the specifics of sport, suburban life and politics. In E is for the Enemy of Democracy he uses quotes spanning almost forty years to suggest that the more things change the more they stay the same.

New Editions

Artists A - L

Artists M - X

Anton Kannemeyer and Conrad Botes discuss BitterKomix (video)

Anton Kannemeyer Archive

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Title: Nine Self-Portraits
Medium: Two colour lithograph
Paper size: 50 x 42 cm
Edition size: 15
Price: R 7 875 (excl.VAT)

Title: Pine Trees, University Estate
Medium: Two colour lithograph
Paper size: 56 x 47 cm
Edition size: 30
Price: R 8 150 (excl.VAT)

Title: Pine Trees, De Waal Drive II
Medium: Two colour lithograph
Paper size: 50 x 42 cm
Edition size: 30
Price: R 8 150 (excl.VAT)

Title: T is for Trouble
Medium: Five colour lithograph
Paper size: 66 x 56 cm
Edition size: 30
Price: R 7 150 (excl.VAT)

Title: Pine Trees, Simon's Town
Medium: Single colour chine collé lithograph
Paper size: 47 x 58 cm
Edition size: 25
Price: R 8 150 (excl.VAT)

Title: E is for Enemy of Democracy
Medium: Nine colour lithograph
Paper size: 76.5 x 57 cm
Image size: 70 x 51 cm
Edition size: 35
Price: R 7 500 (excl.VAT)

Title: F is for Fat Cat
Medium: Seven colour lithograph
Paper size: 50 x 52.5 cm
Image size: 45.5 x 48 cm
Edition size: 30
Price: R 6 500 (excl.VAT)

Title: Ninja
Medium: Six colour lithograph
Paper size: 38.2 x 57 cm
Image size: 35.7 x 54 cm
Edition size: 20
Price: R 5 400 (excl.VAT)

Title: F is for Foot Washing
Medium: Eight colour lithograph
Size: 57 x 76 cm
Edition size: 35
Price: R 6 100 (excl.VAT)

Title: G is for Good Health
Medium: Eight colour lithograph
Size: 57 x 44.5 cm
Edition size: 35
Price: R 4 200 (excl.VAT)

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