Bert Pauw

How did you get into art and design?

I guess I’ve always been interested in art and design but only decided to pursue it more seriously in Grade 12 when I had an epiphany and the art teacher let me join classes for ‘fun’. She then suggested I go to Michaelis, where I subsequently spent the last 4 years.

Tell me about any adventures that you’ve gone on.

When I was still at university I was part of the Mountain Club and went on a few trips with them. We road-tripped through Namibia and Botswana. Did the same in Tanzania and Kenya where we climbed Mt. Kenya. Besides that, I have always been an advocate for Couch-surfing, which I joined to affordably travel through Europe. Travelling on a minimum budget meant eating raw pita bread and viennas on park benches in the rain, and inevitably staying awake all night because my couch-surfing host never pitched.

Current Top 10 songs on your playlist?

Fantasma – Sefty Belts

Felix Laband – Donkey Rattle

Spoek Mathambo – Control

DJ Koze – 40 Love

Big Space – You Lost My Mind Alone

Felix Laband – Jesus at The Table

Jon Hopkins – Open Eye Signal

Gil Scott-Heron & Jamie XX – NY is Killing Me

Rudeboyz – Mitsubishi Song

The Buckfever Underground – Psalms en Gesange

Look to your left and then to your right, what do your see?

A mess.

Are you currently working on any projects? Do you have any past projects? Which of your projects have been your favorite?

My most recent projects are often my favourite projects. My latest project was an exhibition/intervention at McDonald’s, in association with; Alma Mater and the collective Martha, Lucienne Bestall and Dane Lategan. I did a performative piece featuring my alter ego, Duncan from the Boom Gate Society. Duncan is a white yuppie urban developer and co-founder of the Boom Gate Society. BGS is a company that specializes in safety, development, segregation, and gentrification. McDonald’s cannot exist without BGS. Duncan was there to advertise BGS’s services and equipment.

Now I’m just working towards group shows and hustling part-time odd jobs to pay the rent.

What gear have you relied on during your progression as a designer/artist?

Prestik, duct tape, masking tape, spray paint, a Nikon D3100 and the internet.

Do you have any dream collaborations?

Locally, Ishmail Farouk is first on my list. Internationally, I would love to collaborate with Oliver Chanerin and Adam Broomberg on one of their photographic projects.

Where do you draw your inspiration from? What do you think your biggest influence on your work is?

I’m a skeptic. I’m skeptical about what’s happening in my family, community and city. These concerns influence my work. I’m particularly interested in cities, issues of neoliberalism, gentrification, and my own privilege. I’m inspired by simple living, Arte povera and several punk ideologies as a form of resistance in a hyper-consumerist/capitalist society.

Which local and international artists inspire you?

Most of my inspiration comes from local artists. The work of Ishmail Farouk and Kendell Geers was highly influential on my practice during my earlier years at varsity. Since then, Xcollektiv, Tokolos Stensils and Burning Museum topped my list.  Right now, IQhiya collective is the freshest and most necessary collective in Cape Town.

Where can we find more of your work?

Instagram and Tumblr.