(Norman Catherine 2012)
People can take what they want from my work. My approach is intuitive, emotional. Much of it has a sense of the absurd. Yet there is some semblance of sense in the apparent madness, which people recognise and even identify with. My art is a never-ending story in which I constantly articulate as many characters and personae embroiled in the plot as possible. They are mementoes, reminders, and curiosities. They occupy a world of their own, allowing me the freedom to be as flippant and self-indulgent as I like.
(Catherine in Freidman 2000:119)
About Catherine’s art
Norman Catherine’s visual representation is often described as startling and darkly comic. When attempting to define the nature of his work, one is confronted with a number of paradoxes: his work is simultaneously comical and horrific, violent and playful (Friedman 2000:19). His subject matter comprises mostly of colourful characters that are typically monstrous in nature.
Norman Clive Catherine (1949) is undoubtedly one of South Africa’s most renowned visual artists. He was born and educated in East London, South Africa.
From 1970 Catherine collaborated with Walter Battiss on the project Fook Island, which amongst other things, involved building Fook Manor at Hartebeespoort Dam, in the North West Province. He works and lives here to date.
Catherine designed a book with Allan Cameron entitled The Legend of Memo the Hierophant, published in 1995, a project that spanned over 20 years. He worked and exhibited in New York and Los Angeles and has represented South Africa in various other major international exhibitions such as the Venice Biennale and Art Basel.
Catherine's oeuvre includes painting, sculpture, printmaking and mixed media in which the found object plays an important role.
Friedman, H. 2000. Norman Catherine. Goodman Gallery: Johannesburg.
Catherine, N. 2012. Curriculum Vitae [O] Available:normancatherine.co.za Accessed 25 February 2012