Marcus Viljoen



  • digital print on perspex (as a substitute for the glass in the frame)
  • drawing printed on optica 1 (100%cotton)
  • pencil drawing
  • 84,1 x 59,4 cm


Marcus Viljoen's 'Untitled' series consists of three portraits printed onto perspex and framed. These men were photographed by the artist during his residency in India last year, where each of them welcomed him into their homes for the duration of his stay. It is apparent in their expressions that they are not strangers. Behind the layer of perspex is a delicately rendered interpretation of traditional Indian etchings, highlighting Kandarpa (the God of love, sex and desire) orchestrating the activity of the women who celebrate his image. The incredible depth created through the artist's unique layering technique results in a work that symbolically shifts according to viewpoint and quality of light. History and tradition appear etched into the skin, yet on closer inspection one becomes aware that it is only an underlying layer informing the portrait. Degrees of integration vary, calling into question the role of tradition and spirituality and the ability to both hide or enhance the essence of ones being. Each of Viljoen's creations are unique. 

Artist statement

In the past, women were so enchanted with the rhythm of the mans flute that they would twist and turn, entwining themselves with each other, escaping the solemnity of there lives. The Kandarpa tale originates from a unique ritual in Orissa, revealing that Kandarpa is in full command of women, orchestrating all that takes place in everyday life. After Independence, India gave equal rights to men and women in all walks of life, but even today one cannot say that all women in India enjoy this privilege. My images are constructed to magnify the contradictions of everyday life, highlighting the role of the women who had to endure unfortunate treatment in their efforts toward change. My images reveal the powerful presence of Indian women that lie behind the image of any Indian man, to varying degrees of recognition.

  • Kandarpa Ratha- Chariot of love   
  • Kandarpa Aswa - Chariot with boat   
  • Kandarpa Nauka - Chariout with horse    



Art Meets Camera : Visionaries (curated by Michaela Limberis), The Rockwell, Cape Town


Sensorial Realms (curated by Angela di Bello), Agora Gallery, New York

RIACE residency exhibition (curated by Carol Hummel), India

Young Artist Competition (curated by Tamzin Lovell), Lovell Gallery, Cape Town

#Lookatmydickybird, (curated by Micheala Limberis and Liona Nyariri), , Culture urban+contemporary galleryCape Town

Vuleka Art Competition, Runner up (3rd place), Art B Gallery, Cape Town

Another way of Seeing (curated by Marcus Viljoen), YoungBlood Gallery, Cape Town

Turbine Art Fair (curated by Tamzin Lovell), Johannesburg

Art Fare, (curated by Marie Vogts), YoungBlood Gallery, Cape Town



New Heritage Gallery  (curated by Marcus Viljoen), Cape Town

After Dark (curated by Jenny Altschuler), 6 Spin Street, Cape Town

Nostalgia Now (curated by Leah Hawker), Exposure Gallery, Cape Town

The Castle of Good Hope, (curated by Jenny Altschuler), MOP6, Cape Town

The Convex Mirror (curated by Marcus Viljoen), Youngblood Gallery, Cape Town

Capturing the Rainbow Nation (curated by The Commision of Cananda) Bailley Seipel Gallery


 Body Blocks (curated by Leah Hawker), Exposure Gallery, Cape Town