South African artist Porky Hefer was born in 1968, in the era where Radical Design emerged with futurist-designed environments and objects that were more than a chair or a table – pieces that would shock and delight. During this time, Wendell Castle and Joe Colombo made self-sufficient units to isolate and change experiences completely. It opened up horizons and possibilities that fulfilled more than simply a fundamental need to sit. An exploration into perception and instinct, Porky Hefer’s work invokes a new discourse around the sensibilities of handmade design, the joy of child-like reception, and the transformative effects of meditation. With drama and intrigue, Hefer’s pieces challenge us to shed what is learned for what is inherently and unconsciously known – to examine our responses, preconceptions, and limitations. Porky sees this as an opportunity to reconnect with our senses and embrace our child-like responses. Hefer is South Africa’s 2013 Design Foundation Icon Award Winner. His first solo show, Monstera Deliciosa, Volume I, was presented at Southern Guild’s Cape Town gallery at the end of 2015, garnering rave local and international reviews, which led to a solo exhibition at R & Company in New York in 2017. Hefer also represented South Africa with Southern Guild at the inaugural London Design Biennale 2016.
Porky Hefer is a designer, activist, and agitator committed to promoting change. Hefer focuses on conceptual precepts that manifest in three-dimensional forms in various executions, from public sculpture to product and furniture design. Intrigued by the reactions and energy a piece can generate, he embraces Africa and the readily available skills indigenously, rather than trying to emulate foreign processes. Hefer sees beauty in the functional, the ordinary, and discarded. He regularly challenges our relationships with everyday objects, inspiring us to look again.
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