From The Cape Flats to Flat Art

The hummed melodies of Bruno Mars switch to the hip-hop beats of ‘Lil Wayne which then fuse into the catchy phrases of the latest pop release being played on the radio. Snatches of song drift down the corridor and announce the arrival of ever helpful and optimistic photographer assistant, Kirk van Rooi, as he enters the Flat Art building. Despite being busy on duty I manage to get hold of him for a few minutes at a time in between shoots. Reflector still in hand and memory card in pocket, he tells me his story of how he came from The Cape Flats to Flat Art.

Photographer assistant Kirk van Rooi. Photo: Donna Lewis

I’ve lived in Rocklands, Mitchell’s Plain with my family for 21 years now so it’s been my whole life. Even though I live here, I’ve always seen myself as a city boy. I like falling asleep to the sound of cars; they drag race in a street near my window every night and once I heard a car explode… but it’s really not the same, not an ideal way to be lulled to sleep.

Despite the other noise disturbance of police sirens filling the air – I like my neighborhood, I think it’s got safer over the years. Now I can walk to my friend’s house at 11pm and still come back in once piece. It helps having lived here for so long ‘cause I’ve got to know all the gangsters too. Don’t get me wrong though, I know I come from the Cape Flats but Flat Art is the only gang I’ve ever been in.

I first heard about the company through my older sister last year. She was working as P.A. to the editor of Home Magazine and thought it would be fun for me to try out modeling. A couple shots in and I think we all realized that I belonged behind the camera – not in front of it. Despite my lack of decent modeling skills, photographer and superstar, Donna Lewis, still made the photographs come to life in a way only she can and encouraged me to start helping out at the company she worked for – Flat Art Studios.

Kirk's modeling shoot. Photo: Donna Lewis

I haven’t looked back since. I love working here; every day is a fresh day with something new to learn about how to express yourself in different ways. I’m quite an individualistic person, I like doing things differently like jumping down steps instead of walking – I put my own stamp on things and photography is a way I can just be me. I’ve hit my head so many time while skateboarding I think I’ve become a bit mental so I need a way to express all my personality and the turmoil it has to offer.

Skateboarding is another love of mine. During skate sessions with my friends I was always designated cameraman and captured all our antics on tape. I soon developed a passion for videography which then spread to include photography when I got my Canon and Minolta cameras.

In a couple year’s time I see myself owning a surf and skate shop and also continuing with my photography. People will buy my photos for 10s of thousands of Rand, I mean this is just keeping it realistic of course, but until then I’m perfectly happy being part of the right type of gang- the Flat Art Studios gang.


About Flat Art Studios

We are a tight-knit group of photographers specializing in food photography in the Cape Town area.
This entry was posted in In and around the Studio and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to From The Cape Flats to Flat Art

  1. L.Farelo says:

    Haha! Love it Kirk! No wonder you jumped when asked to model today!! Nice blog post!

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