Penny Siopis

Penny Siopis was born in 1953 in the semi-desert town of Vryburg in the Northern Cape. Siopis has exhibited locally and internationally since 1975 and has won a variety of awards including the Volkskas Atelier Award and the Vita Art Now award. Penny Siopis has her work well represented in South African and international collections.

Currently, she is Honorary Professor at The Michaelis School of Fine Art (University of Cape Town, South Africa) and is represented in South Africa by Stevenson Gallery.

In the Pinky Pinky series of hand printed lithographs Penny Siopis explores the psychological and mythical terrain of South African teenage girls. Pinky Pinky is a ''mythical" figure that makes himself known to prepubescent and pubescent girls in the largely Black townships and schools of South Africa. He tends to be an urban creature but has put in an appearance in rural areas.

Pinky Pinky haunts toilets, mostly public toilets, and places where teenage girls find themselves alone. He molests girls and has been accused of rape. Pinky Pinky is a very real figure for many girls and embodies the fears and anxieties that girl's face as their bodies develop and their social standing changes. He can also be seen as a figure that has grown out of the neurosis that can develop in a society that experiences such change and tension as is found in Southern Africa. It is also a society in which rape and the abuse of women and children are extremely high.

Pinky Pinky plays a pretty good game of hide and seek, taking advantage of adolescent angst made all the more complex by growing up in a society wracked by violence and uncertainty. Pinky Pinky takes full advantage of sensitivity to change and as such is horrific as its violence is created from our own imaginings and prejudices.

Pinky Pinky is a figure that does not get discussed much by adults and is virtually unknown of in White society and yet he permeates the reality of many South Africans. Penny Siopis chose to work with this as a theme in the prints that she did at The Artists' Press.

For the three smaller prints Siopis used the Star newspaper (a Johannesburg daily) as her starting point. Thus Renaldo (it was the time of the World Cup), a Zimbabwean Farmer (Zimbabwean land crisis reaching fever pitch) and Model Prisoners (widespread corruption at Bloemfontein prison exposed by inmates on video) are used as a way of conveying some of the facets represented by Pinky Pinky.

In Untitled, Siopis creates a sense of the suffocating effect that Pinky Pinky can have for some.

New Editions

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

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

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Title: Untitled (a creature called Pinky Pinky....)
Medium: Two colour lithograph combined with relief print
Size: 75.4 x 106 cm
Edition size: 25
Price: R 14 860 (excl.VAT)

Title: Pinky Pinky (Model Prisoners)
Medium: Six colour lithograph
Size: 38 x 50.5 cm
Edition size: 40
Price: R 6 980 (excl.VAT)

Title: Pinky Pinky (Ronaldo)
Medium: Six colour lithograph
Size: 38 x 50.5 cm
Edition size: 40
Price: R 6 980 (excl.VAT)

Title: Pinky Pinky (Zimbabwe Farmer)
Medium: Six colour lithograph
Size: 38 x 50.5 cm
Edition size: 40
Price: R 6 980 (excl.VAT)

Title: Umtatarama
Medium: Three colour lithograph
Paper size: 35 x 31 cm
Image size: 20.5 x 16 cm
Edition size: 50

Techniques that Penny Siopis uses in her prints

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