Blind Fish
 
2007
 
ARTWORK IMAGES
(click on an image to view an enlarged version)
   
Blind Fish i Blind Fish I
Blind Fish I Blind Fish I
Blind Fish I Blind Fish II
Blind Fish II Blind Fish II
Blind Fish II Blind Fish II
Blind Fish III Blind Fish III
Blind Fish III Blind Fish III
Blind Fish IV Blind Fish IV
Blind Fish text mock up
 
BLIND FISH PROJECT RETURN TO ARTWORK LISTING

BLIND FISH I
2007
Sculpture: Kiaat wood, Braille text in escutcheon pins
Sculpture:1130mm (l) X 220mm (h) X 220mm (w)
Base: White-washed wood
Base: 1400mm (l) X 623mm (w) X 77mm (h)
Sales price at Michael Stevenson Fine Art: R85,000-00 (2007)
Private collection
The Braille text on BLIND FISH I reads: “All men are equal before fish.” – Herbert Hoover

BLIND FISH II
2007
Sculpture: Kiaat wood, Braille text in escutcheon pins
Sculpture: 1250mm (l) X 330mm (h) X 180mm(w)
Base: White-washed wood
Base: 1400mm (l) X 623mm (w) X 77mm (h)
The Braille text on BLIND FISH II reads: “A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.” – Gloria Steinem
Sales price at Michael Stevenson Fine Art: R85,000-00 (2007)
Private collection

BLIND FISH III
2007
Kiaat and Pau Marfim woods, Braille text in escutcheon pins
1065mm (h) X 154mm (w) X 180mm (d)
Base: White-washed wood
Base: 623mm (l) X 623mm (w) X 77mm (h)
The Braille text on BLIND FISH III reads: “A feminist uses statistics like a fish uses a bicycle.” – Christina Hoff Sommers
Sales price at Michael Stevenson Fine Art: R85,000-00 (2007)
Private collection

BLIND FISH IV
2007
Sculpture: Wild Olive wood, Braille text in escutcheon pins
No dimensions avaliable
No base supplied
Private sale Liza Essers
Private collection
The Braille text on BLIND FISH IV reads: “Its OK to eat fish because they don’t have any feelings” – Kurt Kobain

BLIND FISH V
2010
Sculpture: Jacaranda wood, Braille text in escutcheon pins
Sculpture:1400mm (l) X 400mm (h) X 220mm (w)
No base supplied
Work evaluated at R320,000-00 (2011)
Collection: Andrew Diamond
The Braille text on BLIND FISH V reads: “Telling a teenager the facts of life is like giving a fish a bath.” – Arnold H Glasow

BLIND FISH VI
2011
Sculpture: Jacaranda wood, Braille text in escutcheon pins
Wooden sculpture: 940mm (l) X 440mm (w) X 210mm (h)
No base supplied
Braille text on BLIND FISH VI reads: “Fishing is boring, unless you catch an actual fish, and then it is disgusting.” – Dave Barry

BLIND FISH VII
2011
Sculpture: Jacaranda wood, Braille text in escutcheon pins
Wooden sculpture: 2030mm (l) X 3000mm (w) X 3150mm (h)
Base optional and free of charge
Artist fee R96,000-00; Suggested sales price R160,000-00 (2011)
Braille text on BLIND FISH VII reads: “A fish may love a bird, but where would they live.” – Drew Barrymore

BLIND FISH VIII
2011
Sculpture: Jacaranda wood, Braille text in escutcheon pins
Wooden sculpture: 1610mm (l) X 190mm (w) X 640mm (h)
Base optional and free of charge
Artist fee R96,000-00; Suggested sales price R160,000-00 (2011)
Braille text on BLIND FISH VIII reads: “All men are equal before fish.” – Herbert Hoover

BLIND FISH IX
2011
Sculpture: Jacaranda and Imbuia wood, Braille text in escutcheon pins
Wooden sculpture: 1500mm (length) X 250mm thickness) X 220cm (height)
Base not supplied
Artist fee R96,000-00; Suggested sales price R160,000-00 (2011)
Braille text on BLIND FISH VIII reads: “To talk much and to arrive nowhere is like climbing a tree to catch a fish.” – Chinese Proverb

 

After high school, I went to the Johannesburg College of Art (now University of Johannesburg, FADA), and in 1974 I obtained the National Art Teacher’s Diploma. It is a four year course, but after completing three years I took a year off to go preaching around the country. After six months of preaching, I landed in a compulsory military camp where I met with trouble because I was ‘spreading subversive ideas’ to the men. I then decided to complete my fourth and final year of studies and after I spent the remaining six months of 1973 teaching at Jeppe High School for Boys as a substitute teacher, I resumed my studies. My parents paid for my studies up to a point and I had to supplement their contribution by earning money in the teaching of part-time classes. The school of art offered a night school and I taught painting and drawing on two nights a week. I also taught Afrikaans for two nights a week at the old Witwatersrand Technical College – one Afrikaans class was for immigrant beginners and the other class was as second language for matriculants.

I was very much drawn to teaching and because the art school did not offer sculpture as part of the night school program I started my own classes. I drew my students from the night school I was already teaching and I carried on with my own small night school when I was appointed as full-time teacher at Parktown Boys’ High School in 1975. I got permission from Mr. Jimmy Cameron, the head of the school, to clear out lots of coal and rubble from a basement at the school and to use this as my own sculpture classroom.

Because more and more people joined my night school, I rented the old horse stables in Parktown, across the road from the Park Lane clinic. An art school needs quite a bit of space and the stables were ideal for this. They were in fact so large that my first wife, Denise, and I move in and lived there for about a year. In 1977 I was appointed as full-time lecturer at the Johannesburg College of Art and I abandoned my private classes.

While working and living in the old stables I made many sculptures. One project comprised of thirteen small metal objects made from old bolts and other bits of steel. All thirteen these objects fitted into a large plastic peanut butter jar. I stashed them away and thirty years later, in 2007, I decided to remake two of them in large format. The thirteen objects are somewhat fish-like or tool-like and because they are also a little erotic, I called them ‘fishy’. As tool-like objects they play on the adage that “man is the product of the tool” – meaning that “we made our tools and thereafter our tools made us.” As sexually charged objects they propose the word ‘tool’ ambiguously as the procreative membrum virilum. In 2008 they were, as a group, sold to collector Emile Stip under the ironic title FISHY TOOLS. At first the two most fish-like objects amongst these were sculpted in larger forms out of two solid stumps of kiaat left to me by my father, Martiens Boshoff, who died in 1985. My son Martin (24), his grandson, proved very capable in this sculpting process and later assisted in the remake of all the BLIND FISH pieces.

Some of the BLIND FISH pieces draw on the sculptures I made for my BLIND ALPHABET PROJECT.I made the thirty new sculptures of this project for my 2007 Michael Stevenson exhibition and these included one piece that, before finished, looked like the backbone of a fish without its fishbones. The original sculpture was entitled ECHINO-COSTATE, suggesting that in its completed state it might have spine-like ribs. For BLIND FISH III, I resculpted this unfinished piece in much larger format, still without the spines and placed it erect on its base.

Because the large wooden ‘fish’ are smooth to the touch and reminiscent of some of the sculptures I made for my BLIND ALPHABET PROJECT, I decided to put a line of Braille text on each. The title BLIND FISH plays with the fact that they are tangible and that their texts can only be read by the blind. By exploring and ‘reading’ the works at their fingertips, blind visitors are encouraged to help sighted visitors to take greater pleasure in these strange fish. The I, II, III, etc. simply reflect the order in which they were made.Braille texts were chosen because of their socio-political re-affirmation of blind people in the world.

 
EXTRA NOTES EXHIBITIONS
 

In 1977 I sculpted thirteen small metal objects from old bolts and other bits of steel. All thirteen these objects fitted into a large plastic peanut butter jar. I stashed them away and this year, thirty years later, I decided to remake two of them in large format. The thirteen objects are somewhat fish-like or tool-like and also erotic. As tool-like objects they play on the adage that "man is the product of the tool" - meaning that "we made our tools and thereafter our tools made us." As sexually charged objects they propose the word 'tool' ambiguously as the procreative membrum virilum. They have now, as a group, been sold to a collector under the ironic title FISHY TOOLS. The two most fish-like objects amongst these were sculpted in larger form out of two solid stumps of kiaat left to me by my father, Martiens Boshoff, who died in 1985. My son Martin (24), his grandson, assisted in these pieces.

I made the thirty new sculptures of my BLIND ALPHABET PROJECT for the 2007 Michael Stevenson exhibition and they included one that, before finished, looked like the backbone of a fish without its fishbones. The original sculpture was entitled ECHINO-COSTATE, suggesting that in its completed state it might have spine-like ribs. For BLIND FISH III, I resculpted this unfinished piece, also with the help of my son Martin, in much larger format, still without the spines and placed it erect on its base.

Because the three large wooden 'fish' are smooth to the touch and reminiscent of some of the sculptures I made for my BLIND ALPHABET PROJECT, I decided to put a line of Braille text on each. The title BLIND FISH plays with the fact that they are tangible to blind people and that their texts can only be read by the blind. By exploring and 'reading' the works at their fingertips, blind visitors are encouraged to help sighted visitors to take greater pleasure in such strange fish. The I, II and III simply reflect the order in which they were made. The Braille texts were chosen because of political connotations.

 
MEDIA DOCUMENTS RELATED TO ARTWORK
 
BLIND FISH EXPLANATIONS & BRAILE
 

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