This research investigates the Neo-Baroque aesthetic of excess in contemporary South African art and explores reasons for the emergence of this style. The artists’ exploitation of the Neo-Baroque aesthetic of excess as a comment on social concerns reveals a sense of crisis within South African society, similar to the conditions from which the seventeenth-century Baroque style evolved. Neo-Baroque aesthetics of excess manifest themselves in a variety of ways and are particularly evident when artists transgress social boundaries placed on the body through abject and erotic associations. Excess ultimately arises from complexity, as hybrid art forms are created from the combination of media and content found within the art work.

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