Jean de Wet (b. 1984) is an artist and illustrator known for his intricate, labyrinthine line work depicting equally hypnotic worlds. These curious, wild worlds are urban meets jungle, familiar but also fantastical, and inspired by nature, the strangeness of the universe and a fascination with the unknown. De Wet’s “pages” – whether paper, digital or mural – teem with recurring subjects such as “abandoned houses, the cosmos, hybrid creatures, monsters, vague pop cultural references, swamps, mist, forests, professors, melting mountains and peasants”. This menagerie of characters and entities collide and collaborate to convey a sense of mystery, humour and nostalgia. De Wet cut his teeth in the world of commercial illustration, and since childhood has continued exploring a range of creative disciplines; including drawing, printmaking and comics. To date he has held three solo shows, and contributed to numerous group exhibitions and publications, both locally and abroad.
Vestibule Ruins offers a paragon of De Wet’s talent and approach. Continuing themes of uncertainty, mystery and spatial storytelling, he has created a “non-space or illogical space, neither inside nor outside; exposed and dilapidated, void of reason”. The work comments on architectures as constructs that surround and shape us, as projections of ideals and ideologies. While seemingly concrete and permanent, these structures are in fact subject to change; susceptible to decay, ruin, and overthrow by new ideals and institutions; and ultimately subject to nature’s reign. Uncertainty pervades the artwork through a number of elements. Nervous characters are hidden throughout the space, unsure of their place. Fog obscures distinct line work in the form of a subtle gradient. And as the title suggests, this scene is just a glimpse of a much larger reality – a vestibule just a detail of an entrance to a much larger space beyond the frame.
- Screen print on 100% archival paper (BFK Rives 250gsm)
- Paper size: 560x760mm
- Limited edition of 50
- Numbered and signed by the artist
- Hand-printed in South Africa
- Please note all prints are sold unframed