"Culture Appropriation/Appreciation" is a comment on how living in Johannesburg exposes its inhabitants to adopt and appreciate cultures, rituals and practices that were foreign to them prior to migrating to the City. Our subject showcases his experiences through his tattoos and dress code.
The pigeons represent society and the concept of "fly on the wall". They too , have adapted and observed the influences of the world around them and they too have adopted hobbies and activities they were previously not exposed to. Society also tends to judge ones decisions according to their (society) own experiences and tend to dismiss the choices others make simply because society does not understand or accept ones' new venture. This work is a comment on how we are all influenced by our environment and we are all free to explore them and integrate them into our lives. The Toyota Venture is an iconic mean of public transport in South African townships.
Most people living in informal settlements and some townships have built their homes out of corrugated iron called "shacks". The satellite dish on the shacks is a comment on how most people live above their means.
Our subject is a taxi marshal and/ driver of Afrikaaner descent. His body is adorned with tattoos with an image of Mandela, phrases like "I'm sorry" (perhaps the guilt of the oppression suffered at the hands of his predecessors), the word "Ubuntu" on his hand means "brotherhood or an act of helping each other out and uplifting each each". He also has a mullet with dread locks. The subject is an example of a person who is embracing everything he has learned about the people living around him. Some may see it as an appropriation rather than appreciation.
His socks and the bead wrapped around one of his dreadlocks are colours reminiscent of the old South African flag, showing that he is still aware of the past and is trying to heal through pop culture's appropriation of the matter (They are just colours that go well together, rather than symbolizing a dark past). He has the new South African flag tattooed (like the face paint of a nation's colours that sports fanatics would apply) on his face as a symbol of a new South Africa, new ideas, new identity and an idea of intergration rather than segregation.