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Expressive Identity: A Conversation with Willie Bester

by Claire Wolf Krantz

Bester’s house, with his site-specific additions. Photo: Claire Wolf Krantz.

Willie Bester is known for works relating to South African history, in particular to apartheid and the resistance to it. Since the end of apartheid in 1990, he has also incorporated personal themes into his work while still examining social and political issues. His newer sculptures and assemblages join found objects to form the shape of a person, animal, or thing or incorporate them into something else like a chair, door, or passageway. His wit can be seen in his house, where he has constructed sometimes huge whimsical sculptures, mosaics, and wildly creative electronic, mechanical, and structural elements.

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