Gauteng man pines for stolen nude painting

2015-05-07 16:43

Cape Town - A Gauteng man is desperately looking for his “girl” who was stolen from his house at the weekend - she’s small, naked, attached to a piece of wood and happens to be a painting very special to him.

The 55-year-old Roodepoort man says he does not want to be named because he feels vulnerable after burglars gained entry to his house at the weekend and smashed his glass front door.

They took two flatscreen TVs, a camera, a laptop and jewellery, but the loss most keenly felt was his prized possession displayed in the foyer - a small oil painting aptly named How Fragile We Are by Cape Town artist Lizelle Kruger.

“It’s a very unique piece and I wouldn’t expect thieves to steal something like that. I am so surprised it is gone now and I was in love with that painting.

“I am very upset because it was the one thing which really spoke to me… it was my girl. My wife didn’t understand because she didn’t like it that much, but it was really something special.”

The 50cm by 28cm painting shows a nude woman lying in a foetal position on lichen-covered earth, her back and buttocks exposed and a white Voortrekker cap covering her head. 

Kruger used an old piece of wood from a farm in the Karoo as a base and papier-mâchéd a part of it to provide a canvas to paint on.

The artwork forms part of Kruger’s Karoo Kado’tjies series.

A similar painting in the series, showing the same nude walking towards a windmill, caused some controversy in 2010 when it appeared on the cover of the art magazine Pomp, which was advertised on the NG Kerk’s website Kerkbode.

An anonymous woman launched a campaign after branding it “pornography”.

The man told News24 that he initially had his eye on the windmill painting, but it was too expensive and he settled on the next best.

“At the time, in 2010, I bought it for R18 000 and it’s now worth around R36 000,” he said.

“I am not some rich art collector. I would be prepared to offer a reward if I get information leading to the recovery of the painting, but I don’t want to mention an amount.”

Kruger seemed equally devastated by the disappearance of the painting.

Sitting on a couch with her hands clasped tight, she softly said: “I feel like I’ve lost a child. Each painting you do, especially like that one where you spend a lot of time on it, feels like you are giving birth to something new.”

“I feel fragile and exposed, like someone has been taken away.”

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime
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