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 assault your eyes and also your spirit. It was during this time that Wendell Castle and Joe Colombo made units of self-sufficiency to isolate and change experiences completely. It opened up horizons and possibilities that fulfilled more than simply a basic need to sit. An exploration into perception and natural 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. Here lies an opportunity to reconnect the senses, embrace visceral reactions and to welcome an innocent, open-hearted awe.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, which manifest in three dimensional forms in a variety of executions, from public sculpture to product and furnitu- re design. Intrigued by the reactions and energy a piece can generate, he embraces Africa and the skills that are readily available 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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