Hand Him a Six-Pack and He'll Give You Art

Article excerpt

Neo-Dadaist, curator, art critic, essayist, lecturer, academic muse - Andrew Lamprecht is undeniably one of the "who's who" in South Africa's contemporary art world.

There is the art community, and there is the serious art community, and the latter is where the mercurial Andrew effortlessly slips in. He who has just spent two weeks on Robben Island sleeping in the former convicts barracks, in the name of art. Here's a man buzzing with creativity and artistic irony. "He's a walking encyclopedia,'' insists Bruce Gordon, the equally engaging, charismatic owner of Jo'Burg Bar on Long Street, who once was auctioned by Andrew as a work of art. "He also has something of a photographic memory and his depth of knowledge, as diverse as contemporary culture to medieval history, is extraordinary, and wow, can he dance."

Andrew pitches up at the Mount Nelson Oasis Restaurant for a Dark Lunch wearing a black Offspring T-shirt and his famed designer Milk black skoene with blushing pink lace detail. "You said it was a dark lunch so I dressed Gothic punk and no, these are not girls' shoes," he laughs. "Really they're not," he further insists. "They were made especially for me. They're a once-off design. For men."

So what's with him being a slave to fashion then? "I know you had a fashion lobotomy, but I'm very curious about 'fashion meets art'. Everyone and their sister are doing a soccer project for 2010, so I think I'm thinking of doing a fashion project. But currently I'm working on a collaboration with fellow artist Christian Nerf. We're planning to exhibit a boxing match in the SA National Gallery, if they'll have us, or at the end of the Venice Biennale next year."

Andrew says it will be "the art theorist" verses "the conceptual artist". This, he says, will be "a theoretical observation to try beat the s**t out of him, and I will of course be his artwork. I'm not drinking today because I'm in training. So what do you think? Do you want to be a ring girl?"

Tucking into his chorizo sausage he confides in a low, husky whisper: "I don't really believe in art, I don't believe in God either." He takes a whopping swig of sparkling water, although it's public knowledge on ArtHeat that he's a lover of absinthe. …