Happy New Year + moving on…

Happy New Year my dear readers! I hope 2011 will be double the size of 2010 – in all ways: love, happieness, opportunities, good jobs… Thanx for spending 2010 with me – workwise, friendwise and blogwise.

I decided to grow up and move on – www.antoniaheil.com is the same blog with a new (my) name. So please check there for new things: articles, photography, food, Cape Town and blogs!
Have a great day and hope to see and hear from you soon!! Toni

Ich bin umgezogen! Ab jetzt geht’s weiter auf www.antoniaheil.com! Bis bald!

Die goldene Blume – Pearl S. Buck

Vor ein paar Tagen habe ich angefangen das Buch “Die goldene Blume” von Pearl S. Buck zu lesen. Herrlich. Da ich hauptsächlich Englisch lese und spreche, ist dies ein Gedicht!

Seite 62: “Ach, so schön ich mir einst mein Leben ausgemalt hatte, es hat sich, wenn ich jetzt darauf zurückblicke, lediglich zu einem Kampf gegen Schmutz und Faulheit entwickelt – und den habe ich verloren.”

Chucks / Converse

This is one of my favorite pics taken by Des this year… I wear chucks myself and am amazed of this fashion that lasts sooo long.

Chuck Taylor All-Stars, or Converse All-Stars, also referred to as “Chucks” or “Cons” are canvas and rubber shoesproduced by Converse. They were first produced in 1917 as the “All-Star,” Converse’s attempt to capture the basketballshoe market. More.

Sanell Aggenbach

I was so lucky to meet Sanell Aggenbach (Brett Murray’s wife) a few weeks back. Here’s my piece on her… check out her works, humorous and inspiring! Enjoy!! x

‘I don’t limit myself,’ says Sanell Aggenbach

Sanell Aggenback is a painter who used to teach print making and likes to play with sculptures


Artist’s Biography:
Cape Town based Sanell Aggenbach was born in 1975 and graduated from the University of Stellenbosch as a Fine Artist in 1997. Between June 2000 and March 2004 she lectured at the Cape College and has been a full-time artist and designer since 2005. Sanell Aggenbach was part of many group exhibitions: Bell Roberts Gallery Cape Town, exhibitions in Stellenbosch, Johannesburg, Austria, Canada etc. and solo exhibitions at several galleries in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Oudtshoorn and in New Delhi, India. She has been a finalist in several awards (Spier Contemporary Art Award, Kanna Award), a curator at the Bell-Roberts Gallery in Cape Town and a winner of the 2003 ABSA L’Atelier Award, won a residency in Paris for 6 months, and spend 5 months in New Delhi, India as a selected for the UNESCO-Aschberg Residency programme at the Sanskriti Kendra (1999). Also, Sanell Aggenbach published several catalogues and was also involved in several other publications. Her works are part of various private and corporate collections locally and abroad such as the Absa collection, Spier collection, SABC, Red Bull Collection Austria and many more.

Aggenbach is proving to be an important, intelligent voice in SA contemporary art, Alex Sudheim, Mail and Guardian, January 2008

Sanell Aggenbach is Brett Murray’s wife. Brett is a well known South African pop artist. Together they live in Woodstock with their daughter Lola who was born in 2009. Two artists, lot’s of interaction and a similar sense of humour: “My husband Brett is my big inspiration.”

Sanell does art with absurdity: “I don’t limit myself. I paint, I also make sculptures, I play with different mediums.” Her themes are based on history and private narrations as well as social commentary with a gentle humour. “A lot of my work has to do with nostalgia. Nostalgia and narratives make new stories.”

“You don’t have to smile when you stand in front of Aggenbach’s art. I do, though, most of the time. Because I think I get it. Most of it, anyway. Perhaps I can hear her artist’s voice so clearly because I am also a child of the volk, of the white tribe of the furthest south. God’s Chosen People, remember? Aggenbach understands all this and nostalgia is a recurring theme in her work. She makes me miss my granny, the one who told me the horror stories about the British concentration camps every day – her mother and sisters died in those camps,” says Max du Preez, author and political commentator, and continues, “But Aggenbach’s satirical take on this nostalgia is a liberating one. It holds the possibility of a new excitement, a new way of looking at our nation, our continent and ourselves. Perhaps she is going to help us redefine ourselves – even if ‘we’ are not Afrikaners or Africans.”

Art is an excursion.

This excerpt from Max du Preez‘s article is just a taster, I want you to check out Sanell Aggenbach’s work for yourself. One of her pieces that got stuck in my mind is “Degrees of seperation” (2004), a painting that is 3,5m long. “It’s a self-portrait. With each panel, the painting becomes darker. From European to African.”

In 2004, Sanell’s career turned around and with the fear of not being able to support herself, she risked it: “I don’t care, I’m gonna focus on work. I’m gonna make quality works,” were her thoughts that time. Experiencing Paris and high quality, well executed works, she wanted to live up to it. Today, Sanell sells her works of art and enjoys commercial success.

Another series, ‘Graceland’, is based on being Afrikaans, “My own inspiration of heritage and language”. For example, she took old photographs of Apartheid politicians and folded their mouths. Mouth gone. Look at the fold, a feeling of censorship. Another work of this series is about the Miss World competition, where a white South African girl took part. Normal? Strange? “Art is an excursion,” concludes Sanell.

For another project, Sanell painted portraits of photographs she got hold of from photographer Von Kalke: “He lived in District Six and took pictures of Muslims, soldiers, of initiation, of anything. He was the only photographer there. My works reference his works. He portrayed District Six without knowing it.”

“South Africa is not simple, not straight forward. I am an outsider looking at a culture I am part of. It’s an internal dialogue.”

by Antonia Heil

PS. Sanell Aggenbach tries to have an exhibition every one and a half years – you usually find her works at João Ferreira in Cape Town or at Gallery AOP in Johannesburg. Keep your eyes open, Sanell Aggenbach might have an exhibition in April 2011 at the Blank Gallery.

Check out Cape Town’s galleries and be part of the art!


Natalie & Richard



Natalie & Richard got hitched a few days before Christmas! They planned on getting married for quite some time, now it happened! Congrats you two! Your love for each other is visible! It was another day where we had to work with the rain but were so lucky to get dry shots in an awesome field!
All right, one more wedding to go today and our wedding-year 2010 is over! It was such a pleasure! We loved being part of so much love and emotion.

More pix here.

Stories // Hadnet Tesfai

Hey friends, found a new story-blog by a presenter living in Germany – I love the last story.

“It’s late. Not too many people on the train.

I think I stared at Martin the entire train ride. Not because he was particularly good looking, handsome or anything of that matter. I stared at Martin because he was madly in love. In love with the girl I couldn’t see because she never did me the favor to turn around. I don’t know if she was particularly good looking, pretty or anything of that matter, but Martin was crazy about her. You could see it written all over his entire being.  The kind of crazy where he probably felt he couldn’t survive a single day without her. I imagined how he’d wait until she was asleep before he allowed himself to close his eyes just because he probably liked a funny thing she did with her nose or a weird ass sound she made right before she crossed to lala-land or something like that. He was probably the kind of guy that would secretly wait for the day she’d leave him while being terrified of this thought at the same time, asking himself, why oh why she had chosen him (and not the disco) and wondering how he’d manage to keep her by his side. He seemed to be so proud of her, basically inhaling everything she said. I swear, he looked like he could feed on her words and her smell alone.

I liked Martin. And I must admit that I was jealous of him. He was obviously in fucking love.

And I was worried about him.

Before getting off the train I made a wish: I hoped she’d never break his heart. He looked like he’d never recover from it.”

more on Hadnet – pic by ofmyinside

Christmas present – Lace and horse clip

Lovely. I use it as a badge though. Handmade in Cape Town. Check it out. Mine is the one on the right with the horse!!

Dokter and Misses Checkas bin

one of my Christmas presents is this very cool Checkas bin by Dokter and Misses (in yellow)…

Chekas Bin by dokter and misses

bent collection
material powder coated mild steel
dimensions 380 (l) x 180 (w) x 520 (h) mm
colour black / white / yellow / blue / red
fits a standard shopping bag

•available from 44 stanley and 113 long street

I love it so much! Thanx Maaike and Werner!!!

Christmas Day…




… today I have slept soo long… awesome, went for a walk, ate, read lots and slept again… busy cooking some yummy Christmas dinner. Life is very very good. x

Exit through the Gift Shop – Banksy

This week I went to the cinema (Labia Cape Town) to watch the Banksy-documentary: “Exit through the Gift Shop”. Weird and really good and super inspiring. Always been in love with amazing Banksy that is such a secret hero.  It’s all a bit strange though… check it out.

That’s what the New York Times says:

Riddle? Yes. Enigma? Sure. Documentary?
Is there an art-world equivalent of crying wolf? If so, Banksy has probably done it.
Banksy, the pseudonymous British street artist, has built his reputation on stunts — like inserting his own work among the masters’ in museums — that taunted the market in which his pieces sold for millions. But with his latest project, the documentary “Exit Through the Gift Shop,” he is laboring to convince audiences that he’s playing it straight.

The film, which opens on Friday in New York and California, follows Thierry Guetta, an amiable Frenchman who lives in Los Angeles and videotapes everything — or so we’re told. When Mr. Guetta and camera eventually tunnel into the world of street art — he was introduced to the scene through a cousin, the Parisian artist Space Invader — his enthusiastic recording melds nicely with the artists’ desire to have their otherwise ephemeral work documented. He captures that scene’s luminaries, like Shepard Fairey and Swoon working on rooftops and in alleys under cover of night.

It seems to be a natural fit for a documentary. But Mr. Guetta’s nonstop footage turns out to be unwatched (he has boxes and boxes of unlabeled tapes) and even when he cobbles something together after years of shooting, largely unwatchable. “He was maybe just somebody with mental problems who happened to have a camera,” Banksy says in the film.

So Banksy decides to take control of the material himself — or so we’re told. Robbed of his camera and prodded by Banksy, Mr. Guetta, meanwhile, morphs into a street artist, inventing an alter ego called Mr. Brainwash and staging an opening exhibition in Los Angeles that turns him into an overnight sensation, all of which is captured in “Exit Through the Gift Shop.”

The film itself was a sensation at the Sundance Film Festival this year, especially after Banksy works (including stenciled images of a cameraman shooting a flower) began popping up on storefront walls in Park City, Utah. At the Berlin International Film Festival in February, he called a news conference, only to cancel it at the last minute and show a video, in which he appears in shadows, cloaked in a hoodie and with his voice disguised, as he does in the film, to vouch for its veracity.

The thing is, both Banksy and Mr. Guetta are pretty unreliable narrators. The immediate scuttlebutt was that Mr. Guetta either didn’t exist at all, that he was in cahoots with Banksy or that he was Banksy himself. Even aficionados of the scene were unsure what to think.

“Is it real?” asked Andrew Michael Ford, the director of the Last Rites Gallery in New York and an independent curator who has worked with street artists. “Is it a hoax?” The film, he added, offered so many circular possibilities that it was “tough to comment on it directly.”

But everyone involved has vouched for it. “Of course the more I try to say it’s all true, the more it sounds like I’m somehow perpetuating the conspiracy,” said Mr. Fairey, a friend of Banksy’s.

Mr. Guetta did not respond to a request for comment — though he does seem to exist and to be as idiosyncratic as he is in the film.

“I don’t know why so many people have been fooled into thinking this film is fake,” Banksy, or someone purporting to be he, wrote in an e-mail message from Los Angeles, where the film had a premiere on Monday night. “It’s a true story from real footage. Does it bother me people don’t believe it? I could never have written a script this funny.”

As Marc Schiller, the proprietor of the street-art-enthusiast Web sitewoostercollective.com, put it, “It is one of these cases where Banksy has found in his art that truth is stranger than the best fiction you can imagine.”

Both Mr. Schiller and Mr. Fairey said that “Exit Through the Gift Shop” was of a piece with Banksy’s site-specific work, like a guerilla Guantánamo installation at Disneyland and an ersatz pet store in the West Village.

“Banksy is making a movie that’s 100 percent like a Banksy exhibition,” Mr. Schiller said. He called it a prank, then corrected himself, labeling it “a Banksy event.”

Mr. Fairey, who said that he and Banksy were in the same situation in trying to recover the footage of their career-defining moments from Mr. Guetta, added: “This is a way for Banksy to tell his story but at the same time critique the street art phenomenon. It’s perfectly aligned with how he does things. But it was a very shrewd adaptation to a problem that existed, not something premeditated.”

Banksy said it was a stretch to call the film his directorial debut.

“I didn’t take the director’s credit because I thought that was a bit unfair,” he wrote. “The editors essentially built the whole thing, and I deferred to the producer on the scenes I feature in — otherwise I’d just have picked the shots where my silhouette looks good.”

Still, he added, making it was “an all-consuming process, and my vandalism has certainly suffered as a result.” And Mr. Schiller said that Banksy was “involved in the smallest little detail of every aspect of this production and of the marketing of the film.” (Banksy said he financed it himself; new graffiti appeared in Los Angeles for the premiere.)

The surprise, Mr. Ford said, is in how quickly non-art-world audiences were to accept the notion of graffiti as a major spectacle.

“It’s one of those things where I’m not quite sure what I’m here for, but I’m excited about it,” a fan in line for Mr. Brainwash’s 2008 show, where works sold for tens of thousands — still far less than Banksy’s prices — says in the film.

“Banksy cares very much about selling art and what people think of him,” Mr. Fairey said, “and he understands thoroughly that people’s fantasy is a far better marketing tool than reality.”

Ultimately, wondering whether “Exit Through the Gift Shop” is real or not may be moot. It certainly asks real questions: about the value of authenticity, financially and aesthetically; about what it means to be a superstar in a subculture built on shunning the mainstream; about how sensibly that culture judges, and monetizes, talent.

Asked whether a film that takes shots at the commercialization of street art would devalue his own work, Banksy wrote: “It seemed fitting that a film questioning the art world was paid for with proceeds directly from the art world. Maybe it should have been called ‘Don’t Bite the Hand that Feeds You.’ ”

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