Marlene Steyn has been assembling a fascinating body of work that is as humorous as it is human, as immediate as it is layered, as close to home as it is out there. Her drawings, paintings, and sculptures all evoke a fantastic, dream-like, topsy-turvy universe, where bodies and faces show themselves twisted, fleshless, extremely pliant, or gnarled, and are knit back together with long hair and strange joints.
“The many selves or my selves,” she calls this fantastical assembly that inhabits her work, and which came tumbling straight out of life, the dialogue inside her own head, psychoanalysis, and the history of art. “We are much more complex than we think we are. The ego is very illusory. We are all so influenced by our surroundings, connected to everybody and everything around us. Our unconsciousness rules us. So in my work, I like to transform the subject into a plurality.”