Pop Goes the Revolution


Piet Viljoen is one of the hot new sponsors in the Cape Town wine event shark pool. But one wonders why he wastes his cash choosing ten year old SA reds for posh dinners at The Cellars-Hohenort in snoozy Constantia. Far better to combine his love of wine with his passion for art and liquidize the exhibitions at his New Church Gallery in Tamboerskloof.

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Spent a pleasant morning learning to love Pop Art explained by dazzling snow queen Kirsty Cockerill at his stately white gallery in Tamboerskloof. Each room of the exhibition has a wine to match the art. With Wayne Barker’s explosion of Pierneef as Propaganda, the Hanneli R 2007 blend of Shiraz, Grenache and Mouvedre from La Motte. While across the hall, any one of the three House of Mandela wines made by Thelema, Hartenberg and Fairview to complement Tata’s palm print.

Above is a Pierneef-inspired Karoo landscape by Chris Denovan we’ll be unravelling for our Karoo Kerels jol at the Sanlam Food|Wine|Design gig in Hyde Park next month. And hope it won’t be banned like the Ayanda Mabulu whose diptich opposite Wayne shows that not every Ayanda is awful. Or maybe banned and then quickly unbanned, for extra publicity.

Kirsty says from the outside, the gallery looks like a dentist’s. Although that idea probably comes from the Cameron Platter Please Don’t Kill Us wall outside – seems these are dinkum road signs from KZN where Kirsty and Cammie hail from. And Georgina Gratrix who reckons “art is very, very, very, …, very serious.” No shit! How do they come up with these dazzling ideas?

In the central Paul Du Toit dominated hallway, Cammie’s dad and his eponymous wine guide comes to mind as the “puffery style” is well suited to a Vinimark concept wine from Mad Man Reg Lascaris and his teams of creatives. Best enjoyed sighted as tasted blind, they invariably don’t shape.

Best work on show is by Chad Rossouw (one of the few Rossouws not publishing Platter I’ll wager). It starts off with six Afrikaans patriarchs, all looking like Jan Smuts, then five, four,… and ending with a book about DF Malan who was born on Allesverloren in the Swartland. A potent critique of the demise of the Afrikaans patriarch. Nearly as great as the spectacle of Oom Paul’s great, great granddaughter Rosa Kruger speaking about old vines in the pink pages of the Financial Times last weekend. Selling the sizzle, not the steak.

Come on Piet, Danie Malan could do with a sale and RE:CM would make a fantastic contribution to the local art scene by curating some pop cuvees to go with art from your pop collection. Especially as some of the show will be off to the Tate Gallery in Blighty for a big Pop Art show in 2015. Kirsty is quite clearly the new Michael Stevenson. All she needs is for Jonathan Beare to give her twenty bar to buy her own gallery. She may not have a black Porsche like Liza Essers yet, but anyway, looks more of a Ferrari femme.

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There’s little doubt that Andy Warhol sets the bar when it comes to Pop Art. Which must be why Dom Perignon kisses his ring (above). So Piet, how about transferring Kirsty and your exhibition to the Zoya Gallery at the Elesko Winery in Modra, Slovakia. It’s only 30 minutes from Vienna. The winery was designed by Neil Ellis and Duimpie Bayly and the whole shebang is owned by Igor Ledecky who was in Zimbabwe last month, hunting big game.

The quid pro quo would be for Igor, largest private owner of Warhols in the world, to bring a selection of his collection to Tamboerskloof along with some appropriate wines. After all, Cape Town is World Design Capital next year.