The artist’s work engages with various symbolic and cultural implications surrounding the body. The artist is interested, not in the body’s position in a space or particular context, but rather in its potential for incongruity when void of such. The exploration of masquerade in his work is a key factor, through which he is attempting to create his own mythological language.
The use of animals as symbols is a predominant theme in most folklore. De Wet is intrigued by such symbols since his family’s coat of arms bares the symbol of a griffin, a legendary mythological creature with the features of both a lion and an eagle. De Wet’s personal isolation from its metaphor forms a basis for conversation and narrative, which he uses to deconstruct history and identity.
The title simply translated is “Becoming the Griffin”, indicating a process or period of transition experienced while slowly gleaning an understanding of its significance. The use of anthropomorphism in the work allows for a negotiation of that dichotomy between the civilized self and the instinctive, untamed self. De Wet sees the skin's surface as a boundary, receptive to patterning, mapping and fragmenting. This fracturing of imagery further investigates notions of displacement and belonging, thus evoking a sense of unease and disconnectedness.