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Stanley Pinker, The Artist and Teacher

He was liked by both his peers and students. Remembered  as a magnificent man. Stanley Pinker, a leading South African painter, left behind more than just his art. A telling contribution to art and the cultural sphere in general counts him with some of the greats, from Cezanne to Matisse.

(Photo Credit:
(Photo Credit:

‘The Wheel of Life’ painting dating back to 1974 is seen as one of his most noteworthy paintings, fetching R 2.4 million. He used the artistic elements to create a commentary about the political and social climate of the South Africa he lived in. He uses various symbols to depict the state of affairs in apartheid South Africa, something artists of the time seemed to gravitate towards for inspiration. He uses marionettes, a red devil on a bicycle and a red locust,  Strelitzias and flags to capture the   state of affairs in South Africa. This painting is one of Stanley Pinker’s most direct references to political folly, providing the public with much to ponder on. (source credit and

Stanley Pinker Garden of Eden

In Pinker’s rendition of  ‘The Garden of Eden’ one sees the mastery of cubism at work. It is a scene of Adam and Eve, face to face, in the presence of a floral audience. One can be forgiven for getting caught up in the idyllic scene; before noticing the dramatic irony of the situation. The imminent theme of loss is clearly visible as is a contrasting ambience of dark and light, innocence and knowledge. (source credit:

Stanley Pinker’s work speaks of a thorough understanding of European modernism while being rooted in a South African milieu. His return to South Africa after a decade long stay in Europe brought him face to face with the complexities of South African society, breaking away from place specific work to being more content focussed.

That was Stanley Faraday Pinker. A remarkable man known for being a great artist and teacher, accentuating the struggles of society with a reflective tone and touch of humour.