Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Oscar Gutierrez - ICONIC #MandelaDay

Upstairs @ Bamboo exterior
Upstairs @ Bamboo - ICONIC exhibition
Oscar Gutierrez, a southern African photographer, hold his ICONIC exhibition recently. It was supposed to run until today to coincide with the birthday month of Nelson Mandela. (Not sure if it did?) Gutierrez, who has captured the history and the moments of this region, has delved into his extensive archives. I am definitely not qualified to share photos of photos, but for an archivist like me, it is solid gold to see the legacy of history and icons captured here.

It's Nelson Mandela Day today. We are all trying to live his legacy by donating 67 minutes of our time to a good deed. The 67 minutes is the 67 years Nelson Mandela spent for the greater good. 27 of those years were spent in jail.

George Bizos was the keynote speaker at the opening reception of ICONIC. 5% of the proceeds are donated to the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

Oscar Gutierrez and George Bizos, with nelson Mandela portrait in back
Oscar Gutierrez on the left with George Bizos in the middle 

The following is the Artist Statement: Oscar Gutierrez:

As a photographer, I live the tension of capturing movement and depth with an image, while working with the limitations of the situation I reflect. For example, flash was not possible when photographic Mandela. I do appreciate portraits, but I generally want to bring in context. I want to give viewers a glimpse into a time and place; show them the moment, but also the pasts and futures of my subjects. Capturing these iconic moments was a way of keeping alive the memories of those leaders who are no longer with us. Madiba's centenary month seemed to be the right time to recollect those moments. 

Photographs of Mandela - ICONIC exhibit at Upstairs @ Bamboo
ICONIC exhibit at Upstairs @ Bamboo

Oscar Gutierrez photograph of Nelson Mandela with reflections of people
A true ICON - Nelson Mandela

George Bizos at ICONIC exhibition
Bridget van Oerle walking with George Bizos at ICONIC
 Mokgadi Molebatsi curated the ICONIC exhibition.
George Bizos with Mokgadi Molebatsi
George Bizos with Mokgadi Molebatsi at ICONIC (sorry, bad light)
It was truly an experience to see this photographic exhibition. Upstairs @ Bamboo is a great space to give a magical reflection to the Icon. I understand that some of these photos will be used in a book being written by George Bizos.

Disclaimer: I was invited to the opening, but not asked/paid to write this.

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