Magenta Kiss (2016), acrylic nails, foam, resin and silicone glue (52 x 52 x 24cm) by Frances Goodman
Image: SMAC Gallery Magenta Kiss (2016), acrylic nails, foam, resin and silicone glue (52 x 52 x 24cm) by Frances Goodman

Where did you spend your childhood? I grew up in Weirda Valley in Johannesburg. There was a dirt road leading up to our house, it’s hard to imagine it when I drive past the area today.

Where did you spend your formative years? My formative years were spent playing in our garden, rummaging through our dress-up cupboard and making lego sculptures (before they had step-by-step guides). We didn’t get television till we were older so my sisters and I had to entertain ourselves.

Artist Frances Goodman
Image: SMAC Gallery Artist Frances Goodman

Describe your current work on exhibition at SMAC? The exhibition is a cornucopia of false finger nails and sequins, meticulously and laboriously fashioned into flamboyant flowers and luscious lips.

What informed your choice of materials for this exhibition? A lot of my work is about consumerist culture and the manner in which the media and beauty industry manipulate women, and the way they perceive and value themselves and their bodies. So I use the trappings of the beauty industry as my raw materials.

What is the underlying thread or idea that unites all of your work? My work focuses primarily on women and contemporary notions of beauty and desire.

Damsel (2016), strung sequin on linen (127 x 167cm) by Frances Goodman
Image: SMAC Gallery Damsel (2016), strung sequin on linen (127 x 167cm) by Frances Goodman

Your greatest inspiration? I’m inspired by the women around me, the strong powerful ones who don’t compromise and who have to continuously assert themselves in our male dominated societies.  

The biggest single influence on your way of thinking and creating? I’m reminded day after day that women still have to struggle for equality in the work place, the home, culturally and religiously. This is the driving force behind my work.

Your favorite piece to date? It changes, but at the moment it’s a car bonnet riveted with the words “Hope the pussy was worth it”. It seems rather apt in these ‘Trumpish' times.

How would you best describe yourself? Was bitter, now better. 

Your favorite icon? I have many, but the icon for my most recent exhibition at SMAC is American artist Georgia O’Keeffe. My piece titled Lady Garden, is in fact an homage to her and her work.

An important life lesson? If you don’t set your expectations too high and you won’t be easily disappointed.

What are you working on next? I have an exhibition in New York towards the end of next year, so I’m beginning to plan a new ‘extravaganza’ for that.

What are you drawn to at the moment? Drag makeup and costuming. I think it's envy. There's a humour and joy in it. I wish I could tap into it but I'm not sure I could pull it off myself.  

Three young South African or African artists you think we should be watching? Gareth Nyandoro, Buhlebezwe Siwani and Lady Skollie

Which other galleries represent you? Richard Taittinger Gallery in New York, Aeroplastics in Belgium and Specta Gallery in Denmark.


‘Degreened' by Frances Goodman runs until this Saturday, December 3 at SMAC at The Palms, 12 Sir Lowry Road, Cape Town. 

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