Hidden behind the buzz: Leon Botha
Hidden behind the buzz around this wonderfully strange—and slickly produced—band called Die Antwoord is the inclusion in this video:
of an artist named Leon Botha. Botha is one of the oldest living persons in the world with a condition called Progeria. He’s 24 but he appears to be in his 80s.
The two vocalists in Die Antwoord have done some work to make themselves as visually arresting as their costar—the severe and unflattering haircuts, the poor needle and ink tattoos on the man, the peroxide on the hair and eyebrows of the woman—but they can only achieve so much. Botha steals the attention of the viewer. And what I like most about this is that I think Botha wants that. He wants to be seen. But how many will notice him behind the catchy music, funny haircuts, and—interesting, I’ll admit—artifice of Die Antwoord? Some attention to him is paid after the cut.
His paintings—which can be seen here—are interesting. He loves hip-hop—watch him DJ here:
—and he’s interested in the self and spirituality. There’s a little bit of the visionary, outsider work of people like Norbert Kox or a young, searching Paul Laffoley to it. But if you want to see some of the most interesting work he’s involved in, check out his collaboration with the photographer Gordon Clark: Who Am I? Transgressions.
We waste so much time. And we have so little tolerance for variations of the body. I like that Botha confronts both of those things.