Jane Alexander was born in Johannesburg in 1959 and her focus is South African art. She studied at the University of Witwatersrand, receiving a B.F.A. in 1982 and a M.F.A in 1988. As a student, Alexander was influenced by the socio-political unrest of South Africa and began creating works addressing the aggression, violence, and suffering within society.
She is best known for her life-size sculptures, featuring human forms altered with horns, wings, hooves, and other found objects. Although her sculptures often have an eerie, otherwordly feel, they also manage to project very human psychological states such as alienation, loneliness, and a sense of discomfort or entrapment. The sculptures are often placed in a manner that confronts viewers, forcing them to decipher the ideas present within the work. She also works in photomontage, often using her sculptures as her subjects. She has received a number of awards and has participated in both solo and group shows in South Africa and internationally. Jane Alexander currently lives Cape Town, where she teaches at the Michaelis School of Fine Art.
Although she's created a number of impressive pieces, the most famous/well kown of them is The Butcher Boys (1985/86). Three life-size human/beasts whose figures are or appear to be devoid of their senses. Their ears are nothing more than holes in their heads and their mouths appears to be covered with thick roughened skin. While this may look like a scary statue of naked monster men but it’s really some kind of statement about apartheid in South Africa. It was created when apartheid was still around and because it’s art one must assume that it’s against apartheid. Maybe not. Seems like monster men would support that sort of thing, you know, being monster men and all.