Lockdown has not killed the arts, writes journalist Linza de Jager. And she’s got proof, despite what doom prophets say. She spoke to well-known artist Clare Menck over the weekend for this article. Menck took part in a group exhibition in Rosebank, Cape Town, and she enjoyed brisk sales. Take note that the exhibition can still be viewed by private appointment.
Menck tells The Grotto that one of the paintings has a special meaning for her. She refers to “Self with doting father”. It is an oil painting on aluminium and despite being only 20 cm x 20 cm in size it packs a big punch.
“It is a very personal painting,” Menck says. “I loved, loved, loved my father, and he loved us children. I was the first born and he literally was the doting father in this painting.” Clare used an old family photo as a reference. She explains “The photo was taken on my aunt’s plot outside Pretoria. I was born in Durban and I never realised until recently that this house was near Pretoria. It had a tower section where there used to be a nest of owls. The main issue was that my father was a very, very, very kind and gentle father, and we children can just be grateful because he imbued values in us about being kind and gentle.”
Thin layers of paint
Menck describes her style as follows: “I’m a realist,” she says. “I use thin layers of paint, and it is very important for me that the brush marks are visible. It is tactile painting, but not thick paint, not impasto.” There is a surprise on the back of the painting – the ghost print of a hog appears on it. “The fact that there is a hog on the backside is random,” Menck says. “It is just that I forgot that there was a ghost print on the back. When I finished my print run during lockdown I went on to painting again.”
A coincidence it may be, but the hog was not unknown to her. It belonged to a friend of Porterville, so it has a connection. The painting was framed so that it can be enjoyed from the front and back. “Self with doting father” is priced at R7000.
Art collectors can phone Clare Menck on 0832250059 or follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and on her website. The exhibition also features the sustainable clothing line of Ilse Menck (in a collaboration with textile designer Jane Solomon of Fabricnation), Judy Woodborne and Theo Kleynhans.