b. 1982, Mexico City
Lives and works in Cape Town
Cape Town-based Georgina Gratrix is one of the most exciting and innovative young artists on the South African contemporary art scene. Part mocking, part criticism, part play, Gratrix’s work offers an inverted visual take on the world. Instilled with her youthful energy and personal experience, her work is refreshing, entertaining and complex.
Gratrix’s provocative paintings are heavily imbued with a fun aesthetic and a sense of deprecating laughter. Extending from the grandeur and sacrosanct icons of traditional art canons, contemporary pop-culture and the artist herself, no social hierarchies are absolved as subjects. A thick, almost obscenely excessive application of oil paint forms the layers of make-up and decoration on her subjects’ faces and bodies. Portraiture is a favoured genre and while Gratrix prefers painting, her other mediums range from drawing and printmaking to collage and assemblage.
With numerous successful group and solo exhibitions both locally and internationally, Gratrix continues to garner impressive recognition. Important group exhibitions include From Pierneef to Gugulective at the South African National Gallery, Cape Town, 2010 and ¡ALPTRAUM!, which travelled to Washington D.C. London, Berlin, Los Angeles and Cape Town in 2011. Gratrix presented her first international solo exhibition entitled Everything Ecstatic at Ten Haaf Projects, Amsterdam in 2010.
In 2012, SMAC Art Gallery presented My Show – Gratrix’s third solo exhibition comprising solely of new work. Georgina Gratrix was included in the exhibition The Beautyful Ones, curated by Storm Janse van Rensburg at Galerie Judin in Berlin in 2013. Later that year Die Tankstelle, Judin’s second galley, presented Gratrix’s solo exhibition The Berlin Paintings, an exhibition of the artist’s most recent paintings created during her stay in Berlin.
SMAC Gallery recently presented a solo booth of works by Georgina Gratrix at MiArt in Milan, Italy (31 April – 2 March 2017).