Norman Catherine (born September 1949) is a South African artist whose œuvre spans sculpture, painting, mixed media and printmaking.
Catherine’s art imbibes a dystopian vision of the socio-political landscape that informs his psyche. History, horror, crime, conflict, psychoses, politics & pathologies serve as stimuli for his creative output that vacillates between the macabre and the comic, between a gasp and a giggle.
He conveys his cynical vision through a juxtaposition of dark and light sensibilities veering between an internal hallucinatory realm and literal commentary on the material world. There are no easy classifications for the genre of his work suffice to say that he rebels against any dogma or rigid definition.
When in an interview for Art Africa, Ashraf Jamal asked Catherine how he maintains his unsettling edge in his work that possess both a child-like and dangerous energy.
Catherine responded, “In SA we all live on the edge. Like many of my compatriots I’ve also experienced having a gun to my head. It therefore doesn’t take much for this danger to continue to punctuate my otherwise humourous outlook on life. I am also a news media addict and find that the politicians and business moguls give me ample fodder for satyr.”
The dreamlike qualities of his work draw you in and I enjoy the universe he has created similar to Battiss’s Fook Island.