In October of last year, I had the pleasure of spending time in Cape Town with two dear friends, Lisa and Klaus, who had come to South Africa to visit us.
Just outside the apartment building where we were staying, I noticed a fellow who would set up a row of paintings each morning complete with a handmade sign saying “Peter’s Art Gallery”.
We walked by Peter’s Art Gallery daily as we headed out to explore the city. One painting caught my eye:
So one day, I approached Peter, telling him that I liked his work. He chatted about being an artist and how when he was painting, it took him to another place and how the rest of the world just slipped away. Without knowing it, he was of course, discussing the concept of drawing from the right side of the brain. It was a happy chat and I purchased the painting of what’s called a “Township Taxi” here in South Africa. It’s a shared minivan that provides affordable, although often dangerous, transport for the majority for the populace. This one, operated by his brother, Boeta, and now hangs in my home office. It makes me smile every time I look at it.
Here’s the artist at work in the tophat he always wears:
I returned to Cape Town in February of this year and hoped Peter might have another painting that I might like to buy. I was surprised that he only had two paintings for sale and this one tells it all:
Angry Peter was a new aspect of Artist Peter. I stopped to chat and he told me that some street thugs has stolen all his paintings, so the above painting was his warning to them. An interesting enough painting, but not one I saw myself living with. I left feeling saddened that a guy with such a tough life already, who was working hard to earn some cash, was robbed. Maddening.
On my most recent trip, I stopped by to see Peter again who was in a much better mood. He had a wonderful large work of a cow painted on a door that he tried to convince me to buy. (Sadly, it was sold the next day before I go a photo of it.) Peter scrounges for materials to paint on and so the size of each painting is dictated by what he finds. Another painting was of his cat trying to wake him that I liked very much but it was was too large to fit into my little carry-on bag. He said, “Come by tomorrow and I will paint one just for you.” Sure enough at 8 the next morning, I strolled by to to pick up this painting, smears and all, on my way to the airport. Thank you Peter!