Trevor Stuurman's style snapshot
August / September 2019
FROM LEFT A portrait of Manthe Ribane taken by Trevor Stuurman for the Black Panther global premiere takes pride of place in the living area of his home in Sandton, Johannesburg. A lamp from Weylandts illuminates a trolley from @home, which is piled with art and fashion books; Trevor is known for his vibrant, pattern-rich self-portraits, with photographs taken in front of a work by David Brits (top); and in Cotonou, Benin (middle) and Gaborone, Botswana (bottom) filling his Instagram account.
From his beginnings as a street-style photographer documenting South Africa’s most fabulous cool kids; to becoming a cover star of magazine titles like GQ; and recently being tasked with taking official portraits for the likes of the Obama family, Beyoncé Knowles and Naomi Campbell — it’s beginning to seem like there’s nothing Trevor Stuurman can’t do.
But far from the fashionable world he lives in, his home in Johannesburg is a relaxed escape from the bright lights and flashing cameras – albeit one just as colourful, pattern-laced and Afrocentric as his famous imagery.
The Kimberley-born photographer and creative director’s Cape-Dutch inspired cottage is located at the end of a long, leafy driveway in Morningside, Sandton, where its thatched roof is covered year-round in a layer of fallen pine needles. Sunlight streams into the cosy space through the windows onto zebra hide rugs, illuminating walls and shelves lined with a growing collection of artworks by friends and longtime creative collaborators. The works by artists Esther Mahlangu, Manthe Ribane and Nelson Makamo are among Trevor’s most treasured possessions, he says, reminding him of their time together, and each person’s place in his life.
‘I’m a pan-Africanist, and very pro African, so I source a lot of inspiration from the continent.’ – Trevor
‘Living with her work is very special, because Esther [Mahlangu] doesn’t see what she makes as art, but as a way of life. I take those lessons from her, and I try to live with my own art now as a daily practice.’ – Trevor
ABOVE FROM LEFT
The master bedroom is resplendent in Ndebele motifs, with a mural by Esther Mahlangu crowning the bed. A quilt from KwaNdebele complements a bedspread from Trevor’s grandmother, while a bust by Mahlangu is adorned with a harness by Kenyan artist Moyo Bibi; Trevor wears a fez from KwaNdebele and a jacket from Sol-Sol in a photo by Lulama Wolf.
‘Esther [Mahlangu] is like a grandmother to me,’ he says. ‘Our relationship started when I was commissioned to shoot her for a film project, and I got the chance to stay with her. Over time, our relationship grew, with us collaborating on artistic projects and me taking close friends to meet her whenever I could so that they could learn from her as well. Living with her work is very special because Esther doesn’t see what she makes as art, but as a way of life. I take those lessons from her, and I try to live with my own art
now as a daily practice.’
Trevor explains that his home’s decor came together organically, and that there isn’t one strict guideline to his aesthetic choices. ‘There wasn’t a moodboard or anything. In fact, I never thought about decorating,’ he says. ‘This is the first place I moved into in Joburg, and it has given me the room to play more and to include my travels into my interiors. I’m a pan-Africanist, and very pro African, so I source a lot of inspiration from the continent, which I think comes across in the space. But most of all, at home, deadlines and disappointments don’t exist, and that’s what makes it important. It’s a space that I fully own; a world that I created for myself.’ trevorstuurman.com