Born in 1966, Theo Kleynhans was predominantly influenced by the 1980s. The generation of artists that grew up in, and were inspired by, the 1980s was influenced by a period of quickly growing global capitalism, political upheaval, significant wealth discrepancy, global mass media and distinctive music and fashion, including electronic pop music and hip hop.
The 1980s was the era of African famine, the height of the Cold War, and also the end of it, as marked by the fall of the Berlin Wall. significant art movements of the era include Neo Geo, The Pictures Generation and the international trend of Neo-Expressionism which manifested in Germany, the USA and Italy (where it was known as Transavanguardia). The decade was exemplified by artists like Anselm Kiefer, Jörg Immendorf, Enzo Cucchi, Francesco Clemente and Julian Schnabel. Street art and graffiti started to gain prominence, key artists of which include Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring and Kenny Scharf.