Deon Venter - Riders - 2002
In the “Prisoner of Calypso” (Odysseus), an aging horseman, struts across a stylized landscape of gold leaf, set in either twilight or sunrise. If there has ever been a period in need of heroes, it is the present time, albeit a “Don Quixote”. The image of a horseman, in our time, is so surprising, that it seems essential to revisit it. The viewer is not immediately drawn to symbolic or metaphorical references of the equestrian subject in painting, sculpture or life, or the underlying relevance of this theme in our present time. This is not the idealized hero of history, but the hero of the imagination.
Venter’s work always maintains some ambiguity and contradiction to encourage a wide range of referential and interpretational possibilities. Sometimes informed by the spirit of French Romanticism, or the decaying art of Pompeii, it, however, addresses contemporary socio-political concerns. Press Release 2002