The world of art can be considered an exclusive or elite genre, often avoided by those who feel they play no part in the development or progression of the art form. Juanita Frïer, an artist based in Johannesburg’s Art Eye Gallery, has not only found meaning in her art, but also a way of being inclusive.
To Juanita, painting is used as a tool of expression to convey the voice of the artist. In her latest piece titled Inclusive she creates a paradigm shift from how art is seen to how art should be seen. Amongst her many works, this specific piece highlights a consistent theme throughout her life.
An artist is born
Frïer’s first interaction with art began in the pages of a young girl’s diary. It was during her school years in Sabi that a young Frïer’s classmate shared her artistic perspective. By studying her everyday creative outlets, Juanita found herself drawn to a world so unfamiliar, yet somehow homely. In trying to reach this new found home, Frïer began to realise that the small town of Sabi could only hinder her artistic pursuits. And so she set her sights on the perfect facilitator of creativity at the time – Johannesburg.
Finding mentorship in Johannesburg
Here, Juanita uncovered an infinite world of artistic flare. It was a place where individuals were free to express themselves and art was considered a celebrated custom. Juanita was mentored by many artists. Some temporarily influenced her, whereas others such as Lionel Murcott an art teacher at the National School of Art had a more lasting effect. Murcott, together with numerous other artists, enabled Frïer to develop her unique form of painting, and influenced her desire for inclusivity in art. This would later manifest as an expression.
Creating art that questions societal norms
Juanita can be seen as an expressionist who embraces the freedom that art and specifically painting evokes. She uses art to convey her position on the world around her. This is evident in every piece she creates. From provocative art focused on deconstructing media advertising, to works depicting the escapades of her own thoughts, Juanita is an artist who challenges societal norms, such as the practice of exclusivity in art.
Inclusive is a visual representation of what exclusivity has done to art and how she sees inclusivity changing it. Juanita’s minimalistic approach allows her to convey her opinion simplistically. It enables the audience to delve deeper. Her use of unusual shapes, vibrant colour palate and border line to define it all, creates a clear description of how exclusivity in the world of art can be contested by inclusivity.
Where to view these artworks
Frïer’s works can be found at Art Eye Gallery. Here she collaborates with artists and her teachers to ensure that every piece reflects her desire for inclusivity.
“I learned my techniques by studying my mentors. Today, some of those mentors are still right here influencing me and my work at this very gallery” said Frïer.
“So, when I create a new art piece I have the benefit of not only getting first hand interpretations of my art from my audiences, but I am able to get direct feedback on, for example, the betterment of my brush techniques or the use of colour to deliver a specific meaning (from both the resident artists and my mentors) - which is great!”
These interactions and collaborations are an essential and beneficial component of the Art Eye Gallery. They are also a unique feature beneficial to Juanita Frïer and other artists alike. They are the ultimate expression of being inclusive with art.