Beezy Bailey

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Full Biography


(b. 1962 Johannesburg, South Africa)


I am often asked what does that ship, or car, or high heel shoe mean. I am not an illustrator; I release the images that appear before me. Like Picasso, I say that it is not for me to explain the contents of my work; this is for the viewer to do. Each of my works is a frozen dream. Images and legends enter from my subconscious, the world of my imagination. I am a conduit of visual messages greater than me, at best a messenger from God, at worst a Fallen Angel.


Beezy Bailey

Born of the frustration of “increasingly prevalent affirmative action” in the art world, Bailey submitted two artworks for a triennial exhibition in 1991. One was with the traditional Beezy Bailey signature (rejected), and the other signed Joyce Ntobe, a female alter-ego Bailey had created for himself. The latter now enjoys an honoured place in the South African National Gallery as part of its permanent collection. When the curator of the Gallery wanted to work on a paper about three black women artists, Joyce Ntobe being one, Bailey let the cat out the bag, which caused a huge media scandal.

Bailey has been the driving force behind several art auctions benefitting various charitable institutions. In 2004, he organized ART 4 AIDS, an auction which raised over R1 million. In 2009, Bailey, along with Tara and Jessica Getty, organised the Art for Africa auction, held Sotheby’s in London. The auction presented for the first time a major offering of works by some of South Africa’s leading artists, alongside pieces by some of the foremost contemporary artists from the UK. The auction was held in support of two charities which fund and facilitate the care and support of orphaned and vulnerable children, the Africa Foundation and Ikamva Labantu. Beezy has exhibited in Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic and England, and has collaborated with a variety of artists from Zwelethu Mthethwa to David Bowie. His work is represented in several art collections, including the David Bowie Art Collection, the Getty Family Collection as well as the Oppenheimer Art Collection.



Solo Exhibition

‘Light Beyond the Dark’
Everard Read London


Opening Gallery Exhibition, CIRCA Gallery London, UK

1000 Year Dance Cure, Everard Read, Cape Town

Winter Collection, Group exhibition, Everard Read, Cape Town


The Sound of Creation: Sound Paintings by Beezy Bailey and Brian Eno, 56th International Art

Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezi, Venice, Italy


Landscapes with a Twist, Solo Exhibition, Everard Read Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

Itica Pritica, Beezy Bailey and Dave Mathews, Everard Read Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa


As it is in Heaven, solo exhibition, Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa Itica Pritica, two man show with Dave Matthews, Robert Miller Gallery, New York, USA


As It Is in Heaven, solo exhibition, Circa on Jellicoe, Johannesburg, South Africa

Winter Show, group exhibition, Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa

10,000 Trees Landscape, greening project for the Cape Flats, South Africa


Icon-Iconoclast, solo exhibition, Everard Read, Johannesburg, South Africa

15th Anniversary, group exhibition, Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa


Dancing Christ, solo exhibition, Spring Art Tour, Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa

Sex Power Money, group exhibition, Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa


Being blown backward into the future, Solo exhibition, Everard Read, Johannesburg, South Africa


Fallen Angels & Other Dreams, solo exhibition, Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa


Zwelethu  Mthethwa / Beezy Bailey collaboration work acquired by the Kunsthal, Vienna

A collection of 45 retrospective paintings were acquired by the Ojai Valley Museum in California, USA


Private viewing, studio, Cape Town, South Africa  

One Man Exhibition, Everard Read Johannesburg, South Africa


Collaboration with Zwelethu Mthethwa, Prague Biennale, Czech Republic


One Man Exhibition, Everard Read Johannesburg, South Africa

One Man Exhibition, Knysna Fine Art, South Africa


Brian Eno and Joyce Ntobe project (collaboration Beezy Bailey & Zwelethu Mthethwa).

Work in progress on large canvases

Curated the “Art for Aids orphans” auction for November 2002

Photographic collaboration with Zwelethu Mthethwa

Vanessa Branston commission – statues and mural in the UK

Ongoing exhibition of graphic works and water colours at the Art Factory and Shop


Back to the Drawing Board, Pa Kua Gallery, Cape Town. One-person exhibition of ink-on-paper life drawings with live drawing performance on opening night


Abakwetha – Farmer, Warrior, Statesman, Intervention, Parliament, Cape Town Part of a public sculpture festival to commemorate Heritage Day. The bronze statue of Boer War General Louis Botha outside Parliament was converted into a Xhosa initiate -wearing a traditional blanket and hat, face painted with white clay. The statue’s transformation received extensive international press and TV coverage.

Learning to Fly Again, Beezy Bailey Art Factory, Cape Town, South Africa

Lee Ping Zing, Performance at Womad music festival, Benoni, South Africa


Solo exhibition, Beezy Bailey Art Factory, Cape Town

Fabric of the People, street fashion show, Beezy Bailey Art Factory, Cape Town, South Africa

Beezy Bailey Art Factory and Shop, Opening in Cape Town, South Africa

Group exhibition,  Augsberg, Germany

Driftscapes,  Hänel Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa


District Six Sculpture Festival, District Six, Cape Town, South Africa


Through the Looking Glass, Jibby Beane Gallery, London, UK


Beezy Bailey and Joyce Ntobe, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

Collaboration with David Bowie, London and New York

Exquisite Corpses, Chelsea Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa


Vote for South Africa, South African Association of Arts Performance work to mark the first democratic elections in South Africa.

A solo show of etchings produced in collaboration with various South African artists including Barend de Wet, Billy Mandindi and Norman Catherine.

Vote for South Africa : South African Association of Arts Performance work to mark the first democratic elections in South Africa.

Touring print exhibition: Florida State University. Prints by Beezy and his creation, the black domestic worker Joyce Ntobe, were included on a group exhibition of prints that toured to three American states.


Two Collaborations: South African Association of Arts, Cape Town. Beezy exhibited concrete sculptures     made collaboration with Koos Malgas (assistant to Helen Martins at the world-renowned Owl House sculpture garden in the Karoo) and painted photographs in collaboration with Adam Letch.

The Incisive Eye, Group show, Arts Association of Bellville, Cape Town, South Africa

The Cape of Great Hope, Group show, Visual Arts Foundation, Johannesburg, South Africa

Made in Wood, Group show, South African National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa


Landscapes, Exhibition with two artists at The Art Scene, Cape Town, South Africa

Joyce Ntobe/Beezy Bailey, Market Galleries, Johannesburg, South Africa

“Group exhibition” in which Beezy exhibits linocuts and sculptures by Joyce Ntobe, and works based on material from the Drum/Bailey African Photo Archives.

Joyce Ntobe/Beezy Bailey: South African Association of Arts, Cape Town, South Africa


New Directions, Group exhibition of sculpture, Center for African Studies and Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town, South Africa


Artist in residence, South African National Gallery, Cape Town¸ South Africa


Harbour Paintings, One-person show, The Art Scene, Cape Town, South Africa

Introducing Beezy Bailey, One-man show, Vanessa Devereux Gallery, London, UK


Landscapes from France and Namibia, Exhibition with two other artists, Karen McKerron Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa

Standard Bank Drawing Exhibition : Group show, South Africa


First one-man exhibition, Art Show Gallery, London, UK

International Contemporary Art Fair Olympia, London, UK


Beezy’s work is represented in the South African National Gallery and numerous private collections in South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States including:

Absa, South Africa

Bidvest, South Africa

Bzw Bank London, London, England

David Bowie Art Collection, London, England

Durban Art Gallery, South Africa

Getty Family Collection, USA

Investec, South Africa

Iziko South African National Gallery

Oppenheimer Art Collection, California, USA

Sasol, South Africa

Standard Bank Collection, South Africa