As of late, South African Artist, Lionel Smit, hosted his first solo show on the West Coast of the United States of America in Los Angeles, CA. 360 Magazine had the opportunity to join Smit for his pre-night & VIP showing to discuss his art work and upbringing as a Caucasian male in South Africa.
The exhibition featured work from his studio in Cape Town, South Africa as well as his previous solo exhibition OBSUCRA, held at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Miami. This being the first of his work to be released commercially.
Smit was born in Pretoria, South Africa and later moved to Cape Town. There, he discovered his passion for the culture and history behind the city, specifically with the Cape Malay women. Smit explains how these individuals are genetically created in the sense that there is a mixture between the European, African and Malaysian bloodlines. This discovery can be related to many other countries which Smit used as a starting point to spark conversations on who we are and where we are going on an emotional level.
During the interview, Smit touched on his experience during apartheid as a White South African and explained, “everyone knew what was happening… but you lived in this bubble… and there was a whole generation that wasn’t responsible for it but still went through the same kind of motions. My idea was to steer away from that and create something that’s more universal and speaks to us on a universal level.”
Smit’s art will be available at ArtLife Gallery, located at 655 N. Robertson Boulevard in West Hollywood until October 28th.