If I Ruled The World

Posted on 2010/04/27

South African contemporary artist, Xander Ferreira has been described as Pieter Hugo meets Monty Python. Ferreira’s artwork The Status Of Greatness uses wit and satire through the artifice of the fictional character Gazelle to reveal the mechanics of political and cultural celebrity common to numerous post-independence African states. Pray tell who could be his stylistic inspiration,  none other than one former Zairean President perhaps….

Official Portrait of Gazelle - Painting by Hui Huang Andy, Xiamen, FuJian, China

The artwork, Ferreira’s first solo work was originally shown at the contemporary  What If The World Gallery in Cape Town, South Africa and has gone on to be shown at premiere forum Art Basel (2009). It includes staged photography, performance, installation, video, sculpture and cleverly placed devices throughout. Whether it be his commission to a Chinese professional oil painter to produce the work “Official Portrait of Gazelle” or the apt title of the installation “Arms Deal”,  humor abounds in what would otherwise simply be an explosive topic.

House of the Gazelle, Kruger National Park, Limpopo Province

The Arms Deal

Exhibition Catalogue

Adapt or Die Step Three

Ferriera intends to use the character Gazelle, as an agent for change, appropriating the codes of a Great Man as a vehicle for social and political change.

Ride Of The Gazelle


Xander Ferreira is a South African artist focusing in the fields of performance art, music and photography. He is also a commercial photographer and the frontman for the electronic pop music act, Gazelle.

For a detailed overview of the project and more images.

[Images via What If The World]

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