of a kind. Visionary. Came out of nowhere'.
When we met Truckman, he had a plane and the helicopter. He was recently out of prison. We were very interested in him immediately, where he came from, where he sold his work. He said he was freelance. He said he never wanted to go back to prison, rather be a good man. He had served six years for housebreaking. Now he was becoming famous in Langa for his art. Several small Cape Town galleries have a piece by him. An old lady with a guesthouse in Knysna had him as her interior decorator.
He was 'Truckman'. He was different from any other artist we met. You could take him to a bin and he would make art. He'd come into the shop saying he needed money for transport back to Langa. He'd go to a bin on the street, make a gorgeous flower from crisp packets and come back saying, 'now give me R5'.
Truckman learnt his basic skills in prison, but with his talent and vision, he soon adapted these beyond anything previously imagined. He never made anything the same. He was entranced by old vehicles, old cars and big trucks. He saw beauty and possibility in all the debris of broken old machines in Langa.
He made art all the time, wherever he was he was making something. He was supporting his family.
Truckman was killed in March 2005, crossing a bridge over the highway through Langa. Local unemployed, drug-addicted desperate men always keep an eye on those in the community who are making money. They knew he was making money from his art. They would have stopped him, demanding cash. He fought them off, so they stabbed him.
We felt so bad. We had known him for so short a time, and known immediately how incredibly talented he was. His death is such a loss.
Wasu and Gora, Mixed Ideaz.