Art and Soal: Joburg artist cements his place

Lifestyle

Art and Soal: Joburg artist cements his place

Chris Soal’s journey began in his parents’ garage. Now the 27-year-old exhibits all over the world

Sanet Oberholzer

Earlier this month, local artist Chris Soal made his mark as the youngest artist to unveil a large-scale sculpture at the Nirox Foundation, as part of the Nirox Winter Sculpture Fair exhibition Margins of Error.

Having made a name for himself with his unusual use of toothpicks and bottle caps to create art, his latest work, Relic (2019-2021), takes a slightly different approach — he has used toothpicks carefully pulled from wet concrete. 

Soal said the process was the result of “happy accidents” in the studio after a piece of concrete broke off a toothpick and concrete work, with the toothpick forms appearing to break out of the surface of the concrete...

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