Wessel Hamman (born 6 July 1954) is a painter living and working in Pretoria, South Africa. A designer by trade, Wessel has maintained an artistic practice in order to explore creative expression without a focus on corporate functionality. His career as a designer has granted him insight into the power of deliberate visual communication in his artistic practice, rejecting the cheap mystery of over-abstraction in favour of signalling with clarity.
Wessel works with a masking technique, creating figurative works reminiscent of stained-glass depictions of saints which echo Andy Warhol’s hero worship. He portrays cultural heroes of contemporary history, but also anonymous faces, drawing on social media’s blurring of heroes and tertiary characters. These holy depictions are juxtaposed against screen prints of real-world graffiti, emphasising the modern facades of high art and celebrity against a form discarded because of its ease of accessibility. In this way he grapples with questions of relevance in a world dominated by fast fame.