Michael Taylor is a South African artist who lives and works in Cape Town. He studied at Stellenbosch University, where he completed his Master’s Degree in Visual Art. Primarily working in the mediums of painting and drawing, his work explores notions around narrative art, absorbing ideas from illustration and abstract representation.
Something sweet with a mug of tea. At home: Toasted rye with eggs, ham, apple, rocket and honey. Out: There’s still only one spot – Birds Boutique Café. Bacon and eggs, and an apple strudel.
What are you listening to?
Speck Mountain, Metronomy, Tracey Thorn and Cass McCombs.
Favourite children’s book?
Roald Dahl’s stories, illustrated by Quentin Blake.
Favourite colour and why?
Coral. I’m slowly trying to work things out with orange.
What are you currently working on?
My first picture book, The Gifted, is being launched this month; it’s hand-printed and published by Warren Editions. I’m also working on a series of medium-sized gouache portraits, and I’m finishing up a new collection of drawings for the next collection of The Book of Immediate Nonsense.
Favourite local artist or designer?
I’m very fascinated by my friend Jeanne Hoffman’s latest ceramic sculptures.
Favourite international artist or designer?
I’ve been enjoying looking at paintings by Annie Lapin the last couple of months.
Those waiting for me in my studio.
What was your inspiration behind The Book of Immediate Nonsense?
The Book of Immediate Nonsense, which is now almost eight years old, is a carefully edited sketchbook I suppose. It originated as a kind of storytelling exercise, a device I used to visually translate my interpretation of ‘the humorous’. It’s almost like creating a drawn version of the stand-up comic’s sketch – it’s very improvisational, very immediate. Of course, the project has taken a lot of turns along the way, and I’m not always trying to be funny with the drawings, but that doesn’t mean they’re not ironic. Contradiction is key to the language of my pictures. I think people who have grown fond of The Book of Immediate Nonsense know that about its nature.
Michael Taylor’s new book will be launched at 6pm on Thursday, 7 July at Warren Editions, 3rd floor, 62 Roeland Street, Cape Town.