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Wed Oct 22 06:47:07 SAST 2014

Michelle in mayonnaise

PHILANI NOMBEMBE | 27 June, 2011 09:11
US first lady Michelle Obama speaking at Regina Mundi, Rockville, Soweto Picture: ALON SKUY

A Cape Town artist has turned domestic mess into a "masterpiece" by painting visiting US first lady Michelle Obama's face using coffee and tomato sauce.

As Obama met prominent South Africans, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, artist Jarryd Kin was painting her face for a Facebook audience via live webcam.

Kin, 24, has been commissioned by paint company Plascon to create a series of artworks live on the web using foodstuffs and household items that normally leave nasty stains on surfaces.

He uses jam, baby food, lipstick, colouring pens, tomato sauce, coffee, lotion and red wine, among other things, for the Art from Mess project, which has been running every Friday since the beginning of this month.

Kin said the Obama painting was the best he had done so far.

"It's something else to be painting Michelle Obama's face with tomato sauce. But having her watch would be life-changing. I can't even comprehend that," said Kin.

He said he studied advertising and did art only "on the side for five years" .

"The Art from Mess project is very exciting; it's something new and unexpected. It's a new way of considering art.

"I used charcoal, tomato sauce, Bovril, coffee, flour and little bit of mayonnaise [to paint Obama's face] because foodstuffs have a limited colour range."

Among the news events that Kin has portrayed are the famous kiss on the balcony after the recent British royal wedding, and Gary Kirsten's appointment as coach of the Proteas. He also painted the Youth Day celebrations in Soweto on June 16.

The Obama artwork was titled Utshintsho, a Xhosa word for "change".

"The royal couple's kiss was a trial run but fans liked it. And what people forget about June 16 is that it is not just a holiday ... it means much to the country's development and history," he said.

Jason Meredith, Plascon group brand manager, said the company came up with the project to show that its paint range worked.

"Rather than just tell people about [our paint's] stain-resistance, we wanted to show that it really works in an attention-grabbing way.

"This is a fun and different way of telling people [about our innovations]," he said.

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Wed Oct 22 06:47:07 SAST 2014 ::