Fanie Buys


Fanie Buys

June 2024

I was baptised in the Dutch Reform Church but after a turn towards the Bohemian, my family

didn’t attend services 1999 onwards. My primary school was opposite the church (NG Kerk Die

Vleie) and my best friend’s mother was the receptionist. Besides delighting us with colour printing and the latest in chain letters, hanging out with tannie Nellie introduced me to a spectrum

of off-piste Afrikaans women who had years of experience in helping young gay men navigate


In collusion with some amazing teachers (Juffrou Brenda, Juffrou Alida, Juffrou Estelle) (fag hags

for the under 12s) those years were my introduction to the communion of making do. Behind a

veil of endless pancakes and women’s mornings my mentresses lived manifold versions of Steel

Magnolias: long red nails, short red hair, and illicit slim cigarettes. Operating through a circular

economy of Honey catalogues and jewelerry businesses these women were a window into camp

extravagance via saying with a cousin in Strand. You can stop and Afrikaans man in the arts (if you

studied finance that’s on you) and ask them “who was she” and receive a story, like clockwork,

about learning to cook, sew, or back issues of Rooi Rose.


Fanie Buys was born in Gansbaai in 1993. After being shuffled through a fair range of the Garden Route socio-economic spectrum he attended the Michaelis School of Fine Art, graduating with a distinction in Studiowork in 2016. Buys was  a co-recipient of the Judy Steinberg Award for Painting and the Simon Gerson Award for an exceptional body of work. Predominantly working a figurative style, Buys’ painting is a catalyst to explore representation of the human figure in a variety of media- focusing on passé press releases and gracefully aging film stars. Buys has been included in several group shows and has mounted two solo shows This Man in 2018 and Happy Birthday Jesus! in 2019 (both at 99 Loop gallery in Cape Town).

Photo credit: Andrew Pearce

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