South African artist Xopher Wallace explains why he is anonymous

South African artist Xopher Wallace explains why he is anonymous

For artist Xopher Wallace, it all started with a recurring dream he had as a child.

He would speak to people around him in the dream, but they never engaged. Wallace realized that he was only a silhouette when he looked at his reflection.

In 2017 the South African visual artist decided to be anonymous, taking the alias Xopher Wallace and wearing goggles, a morphsuit and sweatshirt in his photographs to keep his real identity a secret. He believes that being anonymous means that people can focus on his art and preserve his authentic character. In society I think we're under pressure to show the good side in our lives, whereas in my work I express even some of my negative feelings or feelings that make me feel uncomfortable, Wallace said.

Wallace explained that for me, dealing with empty spaces is an empty canvas, so I could decorate it as much as I want, adding that he can shoot day or night, then digitally include extra visual elements such as lights or smoke.

Wallace hosted an online exhibition named Inside Outside, inviting other South African visual artists to showcase their work when the pandemic caused nationwide lock downs, shutting down galleries across the country. Wallace said the event attracted nearly 5,000 viewers on the first day.

Wallace has been able to expand the audience with his online presence, as well as help shine a light on other African digital artists, because of the strength of his online presence.

He said that the times are changing. People are looking into investing in the virtual realm instead of physical spaces.