|Mary Sibande. Her Majesty, Queen Sophie from Long Live The Dead Queen series, Gallery Momo.|
|Jozzie, Ever Beloved. Image: Munschroom, 2010.|
A favorite hotspot is the Maboneng Precinct, where artists such as world renowned William Kentridge maintain working studios at Arts on Main and where mixed-use development space Main Street Life launched late last year, complete with a boutique hotel, 12 Decades Art Hotel saluting eGoli's rich 120 year history. Maboneng's resurgent spirit is, to me, as Ace Hotel & Mushrooming Dominion is to the WTF? nebulous urban desert district wishfully included as part of Flatiron but more accurately described as NoMad (for bite and for North of Madison Sqr. Park). It's also not lost that the main man behind Maboneng Precinct is in so many ways a perfect study of New York success--Jonathan Liebmann--a 20 something lone wolf entrepreneur with a bizarre bold vision and the gall to make us believe in it too. Maboneng is seSotho--the place of lights. In that word, Africans captured Johannesburg's metaphoric essence--a place of opportunity, adventure, of charting out a big canvas and stuffing it with dreams, if you can catch them from an elusive, star-bursting sky. A place of many bright, and possibly blinding lights. And yes, there you have it. There's nothing to smirk about. Johannesburg. City of Lights.
|Mary Sibande from series, Long Live The Dead Queen. Johannesburg, 2010. Image: John Hodgkiss.|