The Kalashnikovv Gallery is a contemporary South African and international fine art gallery, project space and consultancy, located in Johannesburg. We chat to Murray Turpin, who founded the gallery with Matthew Dean.
The Kalashnikovv Gallery opened in January this year. Why did you decide to open an art gallery?
We decided to open the gallery for various reasons: 1. From a developmental strategy of our satellite gallery concept into a more permanent manifestation. 2. From the lack of galleries showing work we could relate too both aesthetically and theoretically. 3. A lack of galleries I could relate to as an artist as well.
Photo by Matthew Dean
What does the name mean?
Simply put, the name represents a metaphor of sorts for revolution within the white cube construct that most galleries in South Africa adhere to and we hope to a degree to re-articulate and expand upon.
Is there a reason why you located yourself in Joburg? Is the art scene there better than other areas of South Africa? Do people just appreciate art more there?
It’s my home and home is where the art is a.k.a. for now, simple logistics and ease of access to my networks.
Tell us about what’s happening at the moment.
At the moment we have a photographic show by Reshma Chhiba up entitled “The Two Talking Yonis”. To come, we have a concept multimedia show by I Create,We Create entitled “May Johannesburg Bless You”.
Photo by Mooki Mooks. Helmet by Veronika. The Riot Exhibition.
Where do you think South Africa is situated in the global art world? Do you have any comments on the art community in South Africa?
In my opinion, on a rapid upward spiral and as for comments on the community at large… not really. I’m focused on my own practice and gallery as they should be on theirs, for now.
Do you still skate at all? Was skateboarding influential to you in any way?
I don’t really skate anymore. I roll around from time to time though. Skateboarding played a massive roll in my early exploration of art and graphics, from (Ed) Templeton to The Gonz to Stef (Steak) Naudé to Alien Workshop and back again. My first artist feature ever was in Session Magazine back in the day. Shout outs to Stef Naudé and Brendan Body!
Do you create any of your own art?
Yes, I do.
Photo by Matthew Dean
What is art?
Not giving a fuck.
Who are some of your favorite South African artists?
Conrad Botes, Marcel Marcel, Conrad Botha, Athi Patra Ruga, and many more. Those were just the first to come to mind.
What can we expect to see in the gallery in the future?
Only the future knows.
Photo by Marcel Marcel