Willie Bester (South African, born 1956) Welcome Home (1996) 88 x 154 x 9.5cm (34 5/8 x 60 5/8 x 3 3/4in). in artist's wooden frame.
Lot 57* TP
Willie Bester
(South African, born 1956)
Welcome Home (1996) 88 x 154 x 9.5cm (34 5/8 x 60 5/8 x 3 3/4in). in artist's wooden frame.
Sold for £750 (US$ 989) inc. premium

Lot Details
Willie Bester (South African, born 1956)
Welcome Home (1996)
signed and dated 'W.BESTER/ 96' (lower left)
oil paint, bottle tops, flattened cans, barbed wire, metal signage and burlap sack
88 x 154 x 9.5cm (34 5/8 x 60 5/8 x 3 3/4in).
in artist's wooden frame.

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Acquired from the Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, June 1996.
    Private collection, USA.


    Welcome Home is constructed from a window pane from an industrial factory. Behind the glass are collections of found objects, surrounded by a border made from industrial sacking.

    The top left panel depicts a number of graves, referencing all those who have given their lives in the struggle for political liberation and racial equality. Under the apartheid regime, many members of the African National Congress were tortured to death by the police or sentenced to life imprisonment.

    Executed in 1996, the artwork was constructed after the ANC's political victory and the dissolution of apartheid. However, it warns against an overly optimistic view of the present. The glass panels covering the boxes are shattered, hinting at the fragility of the new democracy. Bester is acknowledging that racial segregation under apartheid has caused deep social divisions, cracks that will continue to be visible for the foreseeable future.
Activities
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Contacts
  1. Eliza Sawyer
    Auction administration - South African Art
    Bonhams
    Work
    101 New Bond Street
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    Work +44 20 7468 5881
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