Archive: Issue No. 117, May 2007

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ArtHeat project space

ArtHeat project space

ArtHeat project space

Barend de Wet tattoos Christian Nerf

ArtHeat project space

Honey's Tattoo Parlour

ArtHeat project space

Some of de Wet's handiwork

ArtHeat project space

Perhaps that's someone's ass

With love and honey
by Ed Young

Robert Sloon is rapidly becoming one of the most known, and possibly feared names on the South African art scene. Well-known for his controversial blog ArtHeat, this twisted individual has caused much shame and tears amongst the local art crowd. He must be a 100 feet tall.

We take a peep at Sloon's latest online project:

Last month, the ArtHeat ProjectSpace, in association with the 2666 Midnight Residency, presented 'Honey's Tattoo Parlour', a residency by Barend De Wet. Starting with a Lunch Time Lecture (Michaelis School of Fine Art) where de Wet tattooed theorist-to-the-stars Andrew Lamprecht, the residency moved to 26 Commercial Street, where cheap tattoos were supplied. This ended in a general inky debauchery at the Kimberley Hotel, right round the corner. And draught beers are R7 on Mondays.

De Wet tattooed willing and unsuspecting students for R100 a pop, with the cash ensuring at least a clean needle. Many have expressed regrets since the residency, and rumour has it that one drunken subject even had the name Robert Sloon tattooed on his ass, in wild admiration for the ArtHeat editor. I even got to try my hand with a the needle (poor sods).

Apart from being a tattoo artist, and a world-class yo-yo player (Wayne Barker is a keen witness), de Wet is also one of South Africa's foremost conceptualists, making him a perfect candidate for the ProjectSpace. He is the second participating artist-in-residence in the online ArtHeat ProjectSpace, following hot on the heels of artist Sebastian Charilaou, who was said to travel with a packaged giraffe to far off lands. The package was empty.

The ArtHeat ProjectSpace does not only focus on online projects and this is what makes it interesting. Where many online project rooms are obsessed with 'new media', this one tends to be across the board and mainly concerned with compelling art projects, regardless of medium. And it is this that saves it from being stale.

Sloon is in the process of inviting a series of fresh artists. Proposals can also be mailed for consideration to Robert Sloon at