On the art front, look out for Origin Art's new group show Through Different Lenses and see just-graduated talent in Kids These Days in the Atrium/Annex. BKhz Gallery hosts the dreamlike work of Bahati Simoens for Sunset Market, while Portuguese South African artists come together for Visual Echoes at Gallery 1.
Stephen Milborrow's fantastic Portrait Drawing Machine is still installed at Keyes; go see it in action and get your portrait magically drawn by an otherworldly machine. The regular Unlocking Your Collection event at Origin Art is your entry into the wonderful world of art collecting, plus their Art Quiz kicks off again officially.
As always, Keyes has food and drinks aplenty. Freshly Ground has an expanded menu and now boasts a fully licensed bar. The Prawnery is open – book here – or try their sister restaurant Kanpai where the glam selfie crowd hangs out sipping on good cocktails. Round the night off with a DJ set at MIX Cocktail Bar.
Keep reading for the details. BKhz Gallery in what she describes as a "re-introduction" to her whole self that will allow the viewer to reacquaint themselves with her work. "My practice started as a form of self-therapy where I just wanted to create this little fantasy world where there are only black people. I wanted black people to feel seen so my practice also became a love letter to the black body," Simoens says. The artist's surreal, dreamlike style exaggerates the physical, spiritual, and emotional presence of her subjects, whose inscrutably small heads seek to eschew the ego of the mind.
Portrait Drawing Machine
Sit pretty for Stephen Milborrow's Portrait Drawing Machine, a unique convergence of AI and portraiture. Programmed to draw stylised pen portraits, the machine represents the forefront of AI's capability to mimic and extend human artistic skill. Wherever you land when it comes to questions around AI and its creative potential, Milborrow's work is a fun and thought-provoking way to engage with it. Head to Origin Art to get your likeness captured.
Origin Art's new group exhibition Through Different Lenses features nine artists who share their fresh views of the world around them through various mediums, concepts, and, ultimately, different lenses. The show celebrates the various ways in which artists see the world, interpret it, question it, and engage with it, prompting the viewer to explore, understand, and reflect on their own world and the worlds of those around them.
Discover masterpieces that won't break the bank with Unlocking Your Collection at Origin Art. There'll be quality art to suit every pocket across a range of mediums and styles, with nothing over R5,000. In addition to the diverse collection on show, this is a chance to engage with the artists themselves and discover the stories behind the works that speak to you. There'll also be practical tips and tricks for beginning and growing your art collection. In the often intimidating world of art, Unlocking Your Collection is a deliberate step towards welcoming art lovers of all levels into the fold.
A group exhibition at Keyes Art Mile's Gallery 1 celebrates Portuguese heritage in South Africa through the eyes of seven artists living and working in the country.
Origin Art hosts another wonderfully engaging Art Quiz, a super way to test your art knowledge. Bring the best of what you know and some quality friends who can tell their Impressionism from their Abstraction. It's loads of fun and there are great prizes to be won. RSVP for your team here.
Kids These DaysDiscover the new kids on Joburg's art block in Kids These Days, a showcase of recent graduates whose work is as fresh as it is conceptually and visually diverse. Head to the Atrium/Annex of the Trumpet Building to see work by the city's young artists to watch.
Where to eat and drink
While art is front and centre at First Thursdays, you certainly won't be leaving hungry given all that Keyes has to offer on the dining front. Start with oysters and bubbles at Japanese fusion restaurant Kanpai, then move to The Prawnery for your mains. Book via Dineplan. Freshly Ground has an expanded menu, and now serves drinks. For a tried and true favourite, add tasty Asian street food to the line-up at Momo Kuro on the top floor of the Trumpet building, or try the ramen at Momo's street-level store. Unwind with sunset drinks at Marble (also in the swanky Trumpet building), and if soft serve is your thing, head down the parking lot stairs to The Pantry. At just 18 bucks a pop, you'll be glad we told you.