Peet Pienaar (b. 1971) is based in Bogotá, Colombia.
Known in the late nineties for his provocative performance art, Pienaar has gone on to become one of the country’s most brilliant designers, winning international awards, and drawing on African aesthetics to make his highly innovative work.
The Story of Thulani Nganga is a contemporary African story. The simple text line below the cutout images tells us that Thulani, sent from home with R5 to buy bread, stops to play soccer. Returning home, he is sent out again to look for the R5 he has now lost. And never comes back. The final card is a request that if anyone knows the whereabouts of Thulani,who disappeared two years ago, they should contact the Missing Persons Bureau. A phone number is given.
The limited edition set of ten laser cut ivory-coloured cards is packaged in a folding box with a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist. Each card is standard postcard size, 10 x 15 cm. The cards can be framed in any number of ways – individually, or as a grouped set.
From ArtThrob’s Art Bio by Sue Williamson, December 2000:
Once a provincial rugby player, the son of Afrikaans speaking farmers, Peet Pienaar first came to public notice with a performance in 1996 in which, dressed as a Springbok rugby player, he stood motionless for hours in venues ranging from the South African National Gallery to shopping malls. Rugby is the national obsession, and in an ongoing series of performances and art objects, Pienaar went on to explore the homo-erotic aspect of the myths and hero-worship with which players are treated, and the constructs which define masculinity in a patriarchal society. In his first solo show at the Hanel in Cape Town in 1997, Pienaar presented a series of delicate rugby ‘souvenirs’, and for an exhibition at the Goodman Gallery in 1999, made pixelated portraits of rugby players into outsize patchwork quilts, ‘sort of like Chuck Close’ said Pienaar. One could snuggle down under a rugby player if one chose. An all purpose flower arrangement bore the legend “I love you, goodbye, hello and sorry.” There was another performance in which Pienaar, dressed in a glittering green lame dinner suit with the Springbok emblem on the pocket stood alone on the rugby field before a big game waiting for the players to run on.
Pienaar has also worked closely with other artists in collaborative performances – these have included Andrew Putter, Barend de Wet and most recently, Craig Jonsson, a straight artist, whose name Pienaar has had tattooed onto his upper arm. One extended perfomance with De Wet involved the two hiring a personal trainer and following a rigorous programme to resculpt their bodies.
Peet Pienaar co-founded design studio The President in Cape Town, and expanded to South America in 2011.
With The President, Pienaar was editor and publisher of the multi-award-winning Afro magazine – a pan-African magazine showcasing contemporary writing and culture from the continent. Afro has won one grand prix Clio design award, two gold One Show awards in New York, two gold Clios in Miami and one gold pencil at the D&AD in London for magazine design. He is a founding member and a director of the Cape Africa Platform.
The President also runs the Toffie Pop Culture Festival and the Toffie Food Festival.
The President launched Paris magazine in early 2012.
Some of Pienaar’s projects include the design of a sneaker range; a cover for leading Hong Kong design magazine Outlook; T-shirt graphics for Comme des Garçons; graphics for the New York Times; and founding the Bowling Club – a group that stimulates international exchange in Cape Town. Pienaar is also known for videotaping himself undergoing circumcision in 2000.
He studied fine art at the University of Stellenbosch graduating in 1993.