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MJ Turpin


Artist statement 


A body of work in process, continuing from "escape from self" 2014 MJ Turpin explores contemporary forms of escapism – such as the Internet, drug addiction and Religion – citing notions of creating work in a black void. MJ continues his exploration into materiality(literal and metaphorical), the relationship between physical space and the invisible spaces in between. All of which are metaphors for purposefully avoiding the staple reflections(race,gender,sexual orientation,class etc) and theoretical norms within artistic practice in South Africa at this point in time BUT which has ironically to some degree created a deep flux in his own perception of self and by extension Identity, is he becoming the zombie abstract painting he has just delivered to you? who the fuk knows...perhaps.

Short bio Point Version


Born: Johannesburg,South Africa 1982

Education: Bachelor of Fine Art (Honours), University of the Witwatersrand. South Africa. 2004

locality: Lived and worked in South Africa(Johannesburg and Cape

Town),Netherlands(Amsterdam,Hague),France(Paris), Belgium(Antwerp) and Germany(Berlin).Currently works and lives in Johannesburg.


Gallery Founder and Co Director:

Satellite Spaces//The untitled Gallery - inner City Exhibition Series.(est 2010 to 2012)

The kalashnikovv Gallery and Consultancy Johannesburg(est 2012 to present)

Kalashnikovv Gallery Berlin(2016 to 2017)

Create.the.City Public Art and Mentorship Trust(2017 to present)


As Artist:

2004 to 2013 - Independent Artist

2013 to 2015 - Represented by Kalashnikovv Gallery Johannesburg

2016 to present. - Represented by Hazard Gallery Johannesburg


Short Bio written version



MJ Turpin was born in Johannesburg, South Africa(1982). He received his BA Fine Art (Honours) from the University of the Witwatersrand and has participated in numerous local exhibitions at spaces such as the Goodman Gallery, Circa, Nirox Gallery, Artspace, Bell Roberts,Johannesburg Art Gallery, Gus Gallery and several international exhibitions in Belgium, France, Australia and Taiwan. Residencies include BiljmAIR(Amsterdam)2012, A 2 week Absolut Residency in Maboneng (2014) a 2 week online Residency with Floating Reverie(2014) Queens Collective, Marrakesh (2019). MJ Turpin is also one of the directors of Johannesburg based project space and gallery the Kalashnikovv Gallery and was one of the Mail & Guardian’s 200 Young South Africans 2013.His most recent shows being at Gaite Lyrique(Paris - 2013) for South Africa/French Season ,"Working Title" at the Goodman Gallery(2013 - Group show) "I Take it all Back" Nirox project space(2014 - Group show), Gus Gallery Stellenbosch for "Gesture" (2014-Group show). "The Escape from self"(2014) at the Kalashnikovv Gallery(solo) in 2015 he has shown at the Flits Gallery/ I AM Institute Berlin. Post///Digital///Floating Reverie(Group Show) and “escape from self 2” Kalashnikovv Gallery(solo). Het Kunstenaarsbal - Prints on Paper(Amsterdam) Hazard Gallery “Protest”(Group Show) Fried Contemporary Gallery - “Occupy Room 1”(Group Show) Art Fairs include Turbine,FNB Art Fair 2015(With Kalashnikovv Gallery)  and thus far in 2016 Cape Town Art Fair(With Kalashnikovv Gallery) ,No End Contemporary "1500", Absa Bank Gallery "Best of KKNK"(Group Show) Smith Gallery "From whence they Came" (Group Show) and FNB Artfair 2016 with Hazard Gallery.First up for 2017 is the Cape Artfair in February with Hazard Gallery, Followed by his debut solo also with Hazard in April 2018


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