johannesburg art fair

Smiling ladies with ironed platinum hair wearing ironed platinum dresses held carefully just above the nipple to just below the knicker tottering on six inches. A balded German supporting four metres squared of lead-black leather from shoulder to ankle nods knowingly at a creamy canvas marked with splashes of red paint. Older men wearing silver suits stand with their backs to other tanned males in red corduroys and brown suede loafers, their mouths pressed to mobile phones whispering ‘interested’, ‘in New York soon’, ‘talent’ and ‘investment’. A woman cloaked in black linen laughs behind a feathery red boa constrictor curled about her neck, her thick crimson lips glistening and parting for occasional noises of delight. Between white temporary walls she spots a red bearded bloke, pony-tailed and loosely T-shirted, relaxed and smiling, joking and laughing, gazing lovingly at a black and white photo of radical Afrikaner rockers who sing Fuck God! and announces to him, You’re the only real person here. With a swish, she slides to the next booth.

A young lady in a black chiffon dress – deep V at the front, deep V at the back – taps around the floor on black lacquer stilettos with a clip board between hand and ribs. Her thick lips barely move when she speaks, offers, consults, advises and quizzes. Utterly unaware that only one eye of her black bra strap has been hooked, and the creased Woolworth label is so visible. Another young lady in tight black nylon cat-suit sits alone like a caged panther on a high stool. A tight collar of fake diamonds defines her long neck, its loose glittery tail zipping up twelve-inches of blank flat space that is her chest.

Thick oils with old-fashioned rulers go down well. Sarkozy and Bush are torn in two and waxed and fuzzed and faded behind red paint and plastic collage. Piles of empty pill packs Stopped at Customs claw their way up the legs of a rotting corpse. Pam Golding’s face is flagged in the New South Africa and giant black penises hiss and snap at daunted white men. Masks are made of plastic petrol cans and door handles and furry blue balls. The Ghanaian great, Ablade Glover,


is hidden in a corner of the October suite. Black and whites of dribbling poor whites who decorate their rooms with Page Threes are given the red spot at four thousand dollars.

Large sweating North American men in black jeans and greying plimpsoles knock nails into walls behind a curtain of gazing glazing labourers in blue overalls.

Red and white wine flows. Brie gateaux are demolished. Fruit compĂ´tes ferment.