Jessica FOLI

South African artist Jessica Foli was born in 1988. She obtained her Bachelor of Fine Art Degree from Rhodes University in Grahamstown in 2010. In the same year, Foli had her work on display at the Absa Art Gallery in Johannesburg as well as in the Oppitafel Exhibition at the Artspace Gallery, also in Johannesburg. Her series “Happily Ever After?” was inspired by the African-American fairytale books that Foli read as a child. She found herself fascinated by the ‘black’ protagonists who looked like her, in comparison to the white characters in the books that she more commonly encountered at school and in libraries.

« Rapunzel » forms part of the “Happily Ever After?” series. The life-size sculptures in this series - alluding to Red Riding Hood, Snow White, Cinderella and Rapunzel - are cast in black cement, this being a pun on skin color and an inversion of the bright, garish colours normally associated with fairytales. Cement as a medium is heavy and weighted and fairytales in themselves have meanings that surpass the sugar coated ending of ‘happily ever after’.

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