Shani Waldbaum was born in South Africa and has etched out an impressive career capturing the beauty of her homeland in a truly unique way. She became fascinated with the way Western culture influenced South Africa and painted what she saw: the combining of cultures and customs to form an ever changing world where commerce and politics fought it out with freedom and the human spirit. Waldbaum's body of work as an artist is just as diverse and multi-layered as South Africa is. From oil painting to charcoal sketches, tattoo art to photography and sculpture, she is at home in any medium. The wonderful thing about her work as an artist is that in every piece she creates there is one resounding quality: the celebration of all that is beautiful in man.
From a young age Waldbaum was observing Zulu culture and forming a unique perspective on the African continent that found its way into much of her work. We see African women presented as if under an intimate spotlight, revealing a powerful honesty, stark beauty and we feel as if the stories of generations have found their way into us. At the same time, it is the contrast of a simple pair of tennis shoes which speak volumes of context and invite the viewer to form their own story of who these women must be. These works accomplish what great art always does: to communicate ideas and engage the audience to contribute to them. They are catalysts for social change, documentations of a reality that is complex and always beautiful. Shani Waldbaum manages to capture the very best of a culture; forging a path that is always inspiring, enlightening and uplifting.
It is no wonder that Waldbaum became associated with the Superblur Art Movement: a movement which focuses on the creation of works of art which depict a separateness from reality, often conveyed with blurring effects, to create something new. It is a movement, like Waldbaum, with roots in South Africa. It is also a liberating style that matches seamlessly with her philosophy and approach to subject matter. Here is an artist that is not only tackling the essence of the human spirit but injects epic doses of blows to the enemies of freedom with every brush stroke. She has the ability to communicate profound social and culture themes in the rendering of something as simple as a picture of birds flying away. On closer examination of one of these works we see that it is the world Waldbaum has created for her subjects to exist in which is where the real genius happens. This is not birds flying through a blue, cloudless sky. Instead we see birds flying amidst a bleak, colorless landscape where we immediately become engaged in building its background story.
Waldbaum's works are jewels to the South African culture and stand as storytelling ambassadors for not just one culture, but the melting of many. They are shining examples of all that is possible through art and reveal the efforts of a tireless champion of human beauty, spiritual freedom and the might of art. Shani Waldbaum looks at the world as visionaries do: seeing the world for what it can be and carries us over from what it was. Prepare to fly away with a story or two, dance in the fires of a hundred haunting eyes and feel a connection to a place that is real and gets better with each visit.
Michelangelo once said, "I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” At Artists Run This Planet we see Earth as our marble and we hold a chisel and hammer up to it every day. This beautiful canvas of a planet waits for us to paint it daily. Gone are the days of suppressing art, of pursuits less noble than creating. We have the technology available to create in any medium, and faster than ever before. As artists we are the creators of every new innovation and idea that takes shape. We are mankind’s continual hope and driving force — “Artists Run This Planet." - David Carus, Art Planet CEO & Founder