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 Theewaterskloof Dam. His father was a teacher at the local school. Listening to 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.

Together with Anton Kannemeyer, Conrad Botes is a founder 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. 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 a democratic South Africa.

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 viewer's 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. With his icons of atavistic males and females, including the 'tortured soul' and the femme fatale, the artist 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).

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 their 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

Conrad Botes and Anton Kannemeyer Discuss BitterKomix (video)

For orders (with free shipping) or any other enquiries, please contact us.


Man floating in water with woman suspended in the air above him with river forest background

Title: The Other Side of the World
Medium:  Three colour lithograph
Paper size:  57 x 76.4 cm
Edition size: 35
Price: R 9 100 (excl.VAT)


Vulture headed man on horseback with electrical power transmission station in the background

Title: Liberal Communist
Medium:  Three colour lithograph
Paper size:  57 x 76.4 cm
Edition size: 35
Price: R 9 100 (excl.VAT)


Seated Madonna and Christ watched by a horned woman with her leg supported by books.

Title: The Honorable Bargain
Medium:  Three colour lithograph
Paper size:  57 x 76.4 cm
Edition size: 35
Price: R 9 100 (excl.VAT)


A note taking canine-headed man kneeling whilst three bird-headed men crawl across a desert landscape.

Title: The Big Other
Medium:  Four colour lithograph
Paper size:  57 x 76.4 cm
Edition size: 35
Price: R 9 100 (excl.VAT)


Title: Reprise I
Medium:  Five colour lithograph
Paper size:  76.5 x 57 cm
Edition size: 30
Price: R 9 100 (excl.VAT)

Title: Reprise II
Medium:  Five colour lithograph
Paper size: 57.5 x 76.5 cm
Edition size: 30
Price: R 9 100 (excl.VAT)

Head and shoulders self-portrait by Conrad Botes, looking directly to viewer

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

Comic style depiction of an explosion on the horizon of a tropical lanscape

Title: Foreign Affair
Medium:  Six colour lithograph
Paper size:  57.5 x 76.5 cm
Edition size: 30
Price: R 9 100 (excl.VAT)

Four zombie comic style human figures on a green dotted background.

Title: Trouble in Paradise I
Medium:  Five colour lithograph
Paper size:  57.5 x 76.5 cm
Edition size: 30
Price: R 8 250 (excl.VAT)

Four zombie-like human figures drawn in a comic style interacting with a striped background

Title: Trouble in Paradise II
Medium: Four colour lithograph
Paper size:  57.5 x 76.5 cm
Edition size: 30
Price: R  8 250 (excl.VAT)

Dead lion propped up in front of hunter with pith helmet, drawn in comic style with explanatory text

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

Dead lion with head propped and a man squatting on his haunches, drawn in comic style.

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

Naked man wearing dog mask kneeling in prayer in front of enlarged photograph of human skull.

Title: Beggar
Medium: Five colour lithograph
Paper size: 50.7 x 60 cm
Image size: 42 x 49.5 cm
Edition size: 30
Price: R 7 455 (excl.VAT)

Man dancing next to huge high-heeled feet against Crimean Valley of Death photograph.

Title: Valley of Death
Medium: Five colour lithograph
Paper size: 50.7 x 62.5 cm
Image size: 40.5 x 53 cm
Edition size: 30
Price: R 7 455 (excl.VAT)

Naked male and female figure drawn in comic lines with standing bird overlaid

Title: Scavenging
Medium: Five colour lithograph
Paper size: 50.7 x 51 cm
Image size: 39 x 40 cm
Edition size: 30
Price: R 7 455 (excl.VAT)

High heeled feet and a woman bending forward wearing lingerie against photograph of protestors

Title: Protest
Medium: Five colour lithograph
Paper size: 50.7 x 64 cm
Image size: 40.5 x 54.5 cm
Edition size: 30
Price: R 7 455 (excl.VAT)

Three uniformed women marching in unison holding guns and flag with donkey photograph overlay.

Title: Master's Voice
Medium: Five colour lithograph
Paper size: 47 x 58 cm
Image size: 36.3 x 48 cm
Edition size: Edition size: 30
Price: R 7 455 (excl.VAT)

Two horned and bearded figures in dresses in forest flanked by two large female silhouettes.

Title: Haunted
Medium: Four colour lithograph
Paper size: 65.6 x 50.5 cm
Image size: 56.4 x 42.2 cm
Edition size: 30
Price: R 7 455 (excl.VAT) Only one print left for sale from this edition.

Comic layout of a children's story with boy on a journey with moon, petals, thorns and tears

Title: Children's Story
Medium: Medium: Eight colour lithograph
Paper size: 106 x 75 cm
Image size: 101 x 72 cm
Edition size: Edition size: 30
Price: R 15 200 (excl.VAT)

Four comic panels showing details of larger print with hand and thorns, fireflies, bird and boy.

Detail: Children's Story


Comic layout of the story of Cain and Abel depicting figures in conflict and violence.

Title: Cain and Abel
Medium: Medium: Eight colour lithograph
Paper size: 106 x 75 cm
Image size: 101 x 72 cm
Edition size: 30
Price: R 15 200 (excl.VAT)

Nine comic panel detail of Cain and Abel print

Detail: Cain and Abel


Coffin floating on entrails with dog figure removing its head with smiling boys head floating on cloud.

Title: Passion of the Witrot
Medium: Seven colour lithograph
Paper size: 66 x 50 cm
Image size: 45 x 38 cm
Edition size: 15
Price: R 6 980 (excl.VAT)

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