Anton Kannemeyer was born in 1967 in Cape Town, where he currently lives and works. He and Conrad Botes are the cofounders and coeditors (under the names Joe Dog and Konradski, respectively) of the Bitterkomix series, which started in 1992 and has become revered for its subversive stance and dark humor. With Botes, Kannemeyer has been at the forefront of introducing a comic and satirical aesthetic to South African art. In addition to Bitterkomix, Kannemeyer has been working on his Alphabet of Democracy series since 2005, chronicling the absurdities of life in democratic South Africa. Stemming in part from his complicated relationship with his own Afrikaner heritage, his imagery subverts the narrative, history, and myth of the “rainbow nation” with acute humor and critique, while revealing the continued existence of racism and double standards. Kannemeyer’s artworks use translation—subject matter culled from historical archives, comics, and mass media transposed into different languages, artistic mediums, and styles—as a means of returning to and interrogating traumatic historical events.
Kannemeyer has participated in group exhibitions at the Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst, Antwerp (2013), the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney (2012), the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, South Africa (2011), the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2011), l’Espace du Collectif Sadi, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (2010), MU, Eindhoven, the Netherlands (2010), Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg (2010), Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town (2010), and the Print Center, Philadelphia (2010). His solo publications include The Erotic Drawings of Anton Kannemeyer (2014), Pappa in Afrika (2010), and Alphabet of Democracy (2010), as well as 16 editions of Bitterkomix, The Big Bad Bitterkomix Handbook (2006), and several other Bitterkomix compilations (all with Conrad Botes).