A Crush For Solange (And Besides, The Coolest Girl In Cape Town)
Artist and Film Student, Cape Town

Hailed by Vogue as the coolest girl in Cape Town, the 20-year-old South African artist Tony Gum is hitting all the right notes. She is an ‘Instagram Art Star’, posting her eye-catching photographs on her news feed, thus using it as her own art gallery. Her trademark pastel colours, bold American sportswear and red lipstick on her feed has got us hooked, not to mention her work of Cindy Sherman-like self-portraits. Inspired by culture, religion, film and more importantly director Wes Anderson, she recreates classic branded advertisements for present times. In Gum’s most popular series titled “Coca-Cola”, she creatively reinterpreted the brand’s marketing to incorporate more culturally different black faces. In each image, her bold and colourful personality steps out of the frame against an attractive patterned background, rendering her as one of the most popular young artists to follow.

In this style talk, Gum unveils her obsession with Adidas trainers, her favourite local wear and reveals her admiration towards Beyonce’s sister, Solange.


What does your ideal working outfit look like?
Loose tee, culottes and a pair of heels or Adidas Superstars.

What’s best: heels or flats? Which brand or style?
I love a pair of classic, minimal heels. So I do opt for a Nine West heel but when it comes to flats, I’m definitely an Adidas girl 24/7 (it’s slightly concerning).

What’s your favorite art-related blog or app?
Does Instagram count? I think it’s safe to say that it’s basically an online gallery.

What was the last thing you bought and loved?
A Young and Lazy – I love local wear, local is lekker (nice)!

What is/are your personal style signifier(s)/identifier(s)?
Solange. She is the capital of cool and she’s not even trying. If she were to merely mention my name out loud, I would die a happy woman the following day.

What’s your necessary extravagance?


Three things/products you always need to have in your purse?
Ruby Woo by MAC; money; my point-and-shoot camera or my cell phone.

What’s your ultimate beauty secret after long working hours?
Drinking an excessive amount of hot water has really helped with clearing my skin. Well, whether the water is hot or cold, one will still reap the benefits but it’s been quite cold here in Cape Town and I didn’t want to slack on my water regime. So, I just boil it up.

What’s/are your favourite work(s) of art?
‘Recorded Conversation’ (ongoing scene) VII, 2015 by Jeanne Gaigher.

What in the art world are you most excited about at the moment?
I just had my first solo exhibition at the FNB Johannesburg Art Fair and I must say that the array of young artists is exciting.

Most sexiest art person?
Stella Blu, she’s such a babe.

Where are you off to next?
I’ll be heading to the pharmacy in the next 30 minutes to stock up on some toiletries. Woohoo!


Where is your next art trip/travel going to be?
Might be New York – all fingers crossed.

In your eyes: what is the most arty city?
Morroco. I think it’s one of the most beautiful cities with incredible exterior and interior designs. That’s art to me.

Someone you have in mind to call the perfect artworld gentlemen?
Omg, I have no one in mind. haha, please advice…

Which artists should we have on our watchlist?
Lady $kollie, she’s so great.

Tony Gum Instagram: @tony_gum
Tony Gum Website: www.tonygum.blogspot.com
Photos: by Tony Gum