Skullboy /   Louis de Villiers

South Africa 1987

Illustration, Painting, Design

Louis de Villiers
South Africa
October 20, 2016
Alias of Jasmina Sevic, a researcher and author for Widewalls. She graduated from the Faculty of Political Science (Department for Journalism) in Belgrade in 2013.

Louis de Villiers, better known as Skullboy, is a South African multidisciplinary artist and designer currently based in New York City. He works almost exclusively in black, white, gold and grey, dealing with themes of religion, sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll that he tackles with a highly distinctive style, bold imagery and humor. The interplay between order and chaos, simplicity and complexity, decay and renewal, characterizes his eye-catching, well-crafted and visually interesting pieces. Along with Mathew Kieser of Sol-Sol, he is also a man behind FRIENDS on Occasion, an ongoing series of men’s lifestyle publications.

world day of creative graphic design 2016
Skullboy – They Came as Friends, 2013 (Left) / Art History Via Google Image Search, 2014 (Right)

The Art of Skullboy

Born and raised in Durban, Skullboy originally became known in South Africa’s third-largest city for the street art he was making in the mid-2000s. While the artist’s earlier subject matter focused on youth and night culture, which is still one of the key themes of his current work, the voice has grown up over the years, so today he also addresses some delicate social, political or religious themes. Skullboy’s debut one-man show You & Me in 2012 at Kwazulu-Natal Society of Arts, Durban, included one hundred pieces depicting the victories and tragedies of how an anonymous group of people came to lose their virginities. For his second solo show A Sum of Parts at Gallery 415, one year later, he presented a new body of work composed of paintings, sketches, sculptures, photographs, and collaborations. In 2015, Yung Metamoderni$m, his latest solo exhibition at Space Between in Cape Town was the culmination of a month’s long residency at the gallery’s studio. For this occasion, the artist brought light to issues such as immigration, violence, xenophobia and the influence of modern technology on young generations.

Skullboy works in a wide range of media including paintings, sketches, sculptures, photographs and murals

creative graphic designer like to make black paintings for world day
Skullboy – Internet Opinion, 2015, installation view

‘Basquiat’ Inspired Work

Although many describe his works as ‘Basquiat’ inspired, Skullboy creates pieces based on his own experience, ideas and thoughts. He fuses them together to get some sort of response from the viewer, hoping that they can relate to what he is thinking of and exploring. Amongst creating amazing artworks, Skullboy has been collaborating with Mathew Kieser of Sol-Sol to co-edit and direct a ‘zine called FRIENDS. The first issue of the publication was launched in February 2015 in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg. It featured a series of interviews and work by prominent figures in culture and industry from Durban, Cape Town, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, New York and Seoul.

The artist is represented by Kalashnikovv Gallery.

Skullboy is currently based in New York.

Featured image: Skullboy – portrait
All images credits of the artist

YearExhibition TitleMuseum/GallerySolo/Group
2015Urban ASpace Between, Cape Town, South AfricaGroup
2015Can’t Fool MeBerlin, GermanyGroup
2015Yung MetamodernismSpace Between, Cape Town, South AfricaSolo
2015Kalashnikovv Gallery Booth, Turbine Art FairJohannesburg, South AfricaGroup
2015Kalashnikovv Gallery Booth, FNB Joburg Art FairJohannesburg, South AfricaGroup
2014Baang+Burne Rebrand AuctionNew York, USAGroup
2014ABSA Klein Karoo KunstefeesKaroo, South AfricaGroup
2014I take it all backJohannesburg, South AfricaGroup
2014Durbanism8 morrison Street, Durban, South AfricaGroup
2014Looking ForwardDurban Art Gallery, Durban Group
2013Durban Is Yours Art n ShitUpstairs Gallery, Durban, South AfricaGroup
2013A Sum Of PartsGallery 415, Durban, South AfricaSolo
2013100 Years, Politics Unchanged, Gandhi and the 1913 StrikeArtSPACE Durban, Durban, South AfricaGroup
2013CeramicsKwazulu-Natal Society of Arts (National Gallery) Group
2013Local MotionUber Zulu, Durban, South AfricaGroup
2013Dark Room DrawingsOrms, Cape Town, South AfricaGroup
2013Team Dutchman Kalahari Speedweek PortfolioSouth Africa Group
2013Apocolypse MeowUpstairs, Durban, South AfricaGroup
2012WorkingClass, Locals OnlyUpstairs Gallery, Durban, South AfricaGroup
2012WorkingClass, Locals OnlyWolves Cafe, Johannesburg, South AfricaGroup
2012WorkingClass, Locals OnlyAstore, Cape Town, South AfricaGroup
2012Toffie Pop Design Festival, Food inspiration, Group installationCape Town, South AfricaGroup
2012WorkingClass, Oh Sheet!Upstairs Gallery, Durban, South AfricaGroup
2012WorkingClass, Film FetishUpstairs Gallery, Durban, South AfricaGroup
2012You & MeKwazulu-Natal Society of Arts (National Gallery), Durban, South AfricaSolo
2012WorkingClass, It’s A RapUpstairs Gallery, Durban, South AfricaGroup
2011Home Sweet Homies Exhibition, works by Skullboy and Tokyo-Go-GoGallery415, Durban, South AfricaGroup
2011WorkingClass, Our Lives of DeckadenceGallery415, Durban, South AfricaGroup
2011WorkingClass, Buy Art Not DrugsUpstairs Gallery, Durban, South AfricaGroup
2009Youth and Young ManhoodCorner Cafe, Durban, South AfricaSolo
2009King of ArtsBean Bag Bohemia, Durban, South AfricaGroup
2008BigwoodArtSpace, Durban, South AfricaGroup