The work of Fred Page is probably best identified by its limited pallet
and eerie subject matter. The dark emotive quality of his oeuvre is most
likely the result of his upbringing – after losing his mother at the
age of 10, he was exchanged from one relative to another before landing
up in an orphanage. Page first moved to Port Elizabeth, the city with
which his art has become synonymous, in 1937 to work in a tire factory,
having previously traipsed from one job to another after a short stint
in the military. During World War II, Page returned to the military
serving in the Signal Corps. It was only in 1945 after the war had ended
that Page decided to become an artist.
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