ART FOCUS: Art packaged in a brown paper bag

ART FOCUS: Art packaged in a brown paper bag

By Melissa Cohen

“I’m a strong feminist and believe firmly in the power of the youth”, says upcoming local artist and student, Micha Serraf. His latest exhibition, ‘Brown-Bagged’, showcases his unwavering beliefs as well as capturing his passion for art and photography.
“Brown-Bagged”, which will be on exhibition on Friday, October 31, is part of an installation showcasing young artists’ work. It will be running until November 10 at the Michaelis School of Art. Each day will host a different artist’s work with a different subject matter and art form.

Serraf, however, is drawn to photography, slapstick poetry and street art. “Photography and slam poetry, for me, are two means of communication that cut straight to the chase. It does not need the skill and visual literacy of a well-read person or art graduate to unpack and be taken aback by an image or verse that addresses everyone,” explains the artist.
Although Serraf may be new to the professional art scene, his passion to create and inspire others through art was sparked at an early age. “I don’t think I can put my finger on when I first started making art, but I remember being in grade 3 and not being interested in being the best at anything until a girl in my class created a magnificent self-portrait. It was at that point that I became inspired to make art.”
At first glance the black and white photographs of unknown naked women in various relaxed positions with a brown paper bag on their head may seem rather mystifying. However, Serraf uses these images to spark debate and encompass his feelings towards feminism.

“My brown paper bag series is for personal reflection above all. After viewing the photographs one should leave asking themselves if the photographs resemble anything they’ve experienced or felt. If so, then are they comfortable knowing that they have allowed themselves to be ‘brown-bagged’”, laughs Serraf.
The photographer uses the term “brown-bagged” to discuss how superficial society has become and how people use this “brown bag” to cover up their flaws so that they seem more desirable to others. “We live in a time where getting someone undressed is easier than getting to know them on a personal level. This is because we brown bag ourselves to live up to other people’s expectations,” mentions the student.

* Catch Micha and other young artists’ work at Michaelis School of Art, Hiddingh Campus (across the road from the Labia) from October 30 until November 10.
For more information on Micha Serraf, visit his Facebook Page: Glitch Works; or follow him on Instagram: micha.photographi.