With a career straddling nearly thirty years, Barend de Wet is essentially a conceptual formalist. His practice encompasses traditional media, craft skills and fanatical hobbyism that manifests in sculptures, ‘knitted paintings’, performances and collaborative works. De Wet’s art exemplifies his motto that ‘art equals life and life equals art’, and that any and all material, whether it is sacrosanct bronze, oil on canvas or crocheted yarn, offers creative possibilities and the potential to assume canonical stature. Favouring honest gestures imbued with witticism and a Duchampian mischief, de Wet’s working methodology is accompanied by a conceptual and technical integrity.
Barend de Wet studied at the Michaelis School of Fine Art – University of Cape Town. Recent projects include a video montage titled Projected Identities (2013), which was featured in MINE (part 3), an itinerant exhibition of South African video and performance art shown in Bordeaux, France in 2013. A revised version of MINE titled, The Film Will Always Be You – Exhibition Histories of South African Artists’ Film and Performance is planned to be staged at the Tate Modern in London UK as part of SA-UK Seasons 2014 & 2015, a partnership between South Africa’s Department of Arts & Culture and the British Council, UK.