Byron Eksteen is a South African artist (b. 1988, Johannesburg) who lives and works in Cape Town. Working primarily with relief ink and spray paint, his art deals with the psychosocial realities of his everyday environment. Through a combination of abstraction and surrealism, Eksteen makes tangible the sense of claustrophobia and alienation experienced by many in a world that is becoming increasingly insular. Rather than being confined to paint on canvas, his work can be found on the walls and underpasses of many of South Africa’s urban centers. Using clay, wood, soap, and wire, Eksteen’s sculptures are similarly loaded. Where his paintings might bring to mind the work of artists like Willem de Kooning, Francis Bacon, and Jean-Michel Basquiat; his sculptural work puts forth a whole new dimension, pulling his figures out from their abstraction into the world of the living.
His work has been exhibited in Grahamstown, Cape Town, London and Stockholm, and has been featured in international feature films such as Action Point and the BBC produced series Noughts and Crosses.