Beezy Bailey, In Spring, we sprung, Oil on canvas, 150 x 200 cm

(b. 1962, Johannesburg, South Africa)

Beezy Bailey is an artist set alight by the need to find expression for his creativity. His artistic practice eludes easy categorisation – painter, sculptor, printmaker, performance artist, surrealist, collaborator, iconoclast, opportunist – these some of the names that have been used to describe this restless artist. Perhaps the most accurate of all is simply to say ‘artist’, a definition truthful beyond its seeming simplicity in the scope it has offered Beezy for a fascinating life lived in art.

Richard Cork, art historian, editor, critic and exhibition curator, says of Bailey, "Looking back over Beezy Bailey's restlessly inventive career, we soon become fascinated by its defiant unpredictability. At every turn his work is filled with surprises, and united above all by a fundamental urge to challenge the status quo."

Bailey’s eclectic and effervescent approach to art, has attracted a stellar list of fellow polymaths as collaborators, including David Bowie, Brian Eno and Dave Matthews. His is a storybook career that has spanned early encounters with Andy Warhol – which was to inspire Bailey’s own Cape Town version of The Factory.

Brian Eno described Bailey in this way “Beezy paints like he cooks: complete confidence, no recipe, wild exuberance and lots of strong, rich colours. He’s an African artist, as colourful as the tropics, and as full of life”.

A love of story-telling on a grand scale is perhaps not surprising for an artist whose own family history reads like an adventure story. Bailey’s father, Jim Bailey, was the publisher of the seminal magazine Drum, and grandmother, Mary, was a pioneer of aviation. We see these early influences in a dizzying array of engaging, often lyrical characters including mystical, flying, winged creatures, falling florals and dancing figures.

Bailey aspires to create art as a balm for a mad world – a corrective for our most lamentable human qualities, including a planet brutalized by extremes of wealth and poverty, environmental ignorance, and negligence. The sources of his imagery are elusive. In his own words: ‘frozen dreams, images and legends enter from my subconscious, the realm of my imagination. I act as a conduit for visual messages greater than I am.’

Over the past three decades, Bailey has exhibited extensively in South Africa and around the world. He was part of the official program at the Venice Biennale in 2015 and in 2011 the Chenshia Museum in Wuhan, China staged a retrospective exhibition.




Let There Be Light, Everard Read London & Boughton House, UK

Summer 2021, Everard Read, London, UK
The Love Revolution, solo, Everard Read, Cape Town South Africa
Double Vision, with Stuart Dodds, Gallery at Glen Carlou, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Us, (online exhibition) Everard Read
Staring Straight to the Future, (online exhibition) Everard Read
A Celebration of Fine Art Sculpture, Everard Read, Franschhoek, South Africa
Investec Cape Town Art Fair, with Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa
Winter, Everard Read, London, UK

Solo accompanying the launch of his monograph at Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa
Summer, Everard Read, London, UK
Context Art Miami, with Everard Read, Miami, USA
Southern Aspect, Everard Read, London, UK

Light Beyond the Dark, solo, Everard Read, London, UK
Investec Cape Town Art Fair with Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa
FNB Joburg Art Fair with Everard Read, Johannesburg, South Africa

People & Portraiture, Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa
Summer exhibition, Everard Read, London, UK
Bronze, Steel and Stone II, Everard Read, London, UK

Opening Gallery Exhibition, Everard Read, London, UK
1000 Year Dance Cure, solo, inaugural exhibition of CIRCA Cape Town, South Africa

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

Landscapes with a Twist, solo, 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, 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, Circa on Jellicoe, Johannesburg, South Africa
10,000 Trees Landscape, greening project for the Cape Flats, South Africa

Icon-Iconoclast, solo, Everard Read, Johannesburg, South Africa
15th Anniversary, group exhibition, Everard Read, Cape Town, South Africa

Dancing Christ, solo, 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, Everard Read, Johannesburg, South Africa

Fallen Angels & Other Dreams, solo, 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

Solo, Everard Read Johannesburg, South Africa

Collaboration with Zwelethu Mthethwa, Prague Biennale, Czech Republic

Solo, Everard Read Johannesburg, South Africa
Solo, Knysna Fine Art, South Africa

Curated the "Art for Aids orphans" auction for November
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, South Africa
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, Augsburg, 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

Collaboration with David Bowie, London and New York, UK and US
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

Two Collaborations: South African Association of Arts, Cape Town. Beezy exhibited concrete sculptures made in 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

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