The Cape Town visual artist was known as one of the oldest survivors of progeria – a rare genetic condition that accelerates the aging process. The disease usually has a life expectancy in the teens.
Brotha first became well known when he opened for Die Antwoord during their show. Later he was featured in the Enter the Ninja video. In his spare time he DJ’d under the name DJ $olarize and was well known for his art.
Last year he collaborated with Gordon Clark in the exhibition Who Am I? … Transgressions at the Joao Ferreira Gallery in Cape Town.
Here’s a clip from the exhibition:
Emile Janson spoke highly of Botha: “He had extremely intelligent views. We learned a lot from his perspective. But we knew at some stage we’d have to face him not being with us any longer. His death is a loss to young people. But the work of any artist, including Leon’s, will continue to live on.”
“He was fighting a huge battle. In the last while, he was struggling to put words together. I could see it was a struggle. Imagine what it must be like for an ar$tist to not be creative.”
Leon Brotha will be missed.