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Expressionist contemporary South African painter

Hi, I’m Wian

and I paint expressionist portraits and landscapes about themes and scenery unique to Cape Town and South Africa. I generally work with earthy colours and I apply it generously on locally made, custom stretched canvases. Lately I’ve been enjoying making very large and emotionally striking pieces that I exhibit in Cape Town and Hermanus.

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My story

Throughout high school, I attended two art schools after which I graduated with 100% and was awarded top art student in South Africa for 2007. After high school I was heart set on studying architecture at UCT, but In a moment of uncertainty I changed to Bachelors of Business Management at Stellenbosch University.

4 years later I started a Masters of Science in Design and Digital Media at the College of Art at the University of Edinburgh. This is more or less when I started sharpening my focus on classical and contemporary art. I had easy access to the National Galleries in Scotland and even the big museums down in London.

After graduation I worked in the startup space for FireID and SnapScan. Lately however, I’ve been working primarily with my family in our shared investments company, IN2EX. We’re a UK and South Africa based VC focusing on wealth management, property, infrastructure and telecommunications. As boring as this sounds, it frees me up to focus on my artistic career..

I travel as much as I’m allowed to and I’ve recently crossed the 50 countries mark. Art galleries and exhibitions are always featured at the of my list.

Exhibitions

December 2018 - February 2019, Crust Café, Bree Street, Cape Town.

First Thursdays event, December, Cape Town. Ba

My philosophy

My outlook is pretty conservative and anti-establishment when it comes to art. I believe art should be practical, sensible, emotional or fun – the rest is rubbish: If art requires to be in a gallery to be art, then it’s not art.

I’m a follower of Stuckism, which stresses the value of painting as a medium, its use for communication and the expression of emotion and experience – as opposed to the superficial novelty, nihilism and irony of conceptual art and postmodernism.

My inspiration

Opposed to my philosophy, I draw my inspiration from a very wide range of sources: the practicality and harshness of USSR brutalism; the ultra-rationality behind the Swiss Helvetica movement; the application and technique of expressionism and Fauvism; and the works of a few big names like Rembrandt, especially towards the end of his career, and a young Picasso (blue and rose periods). In almost everything I do you’ll also be able to find hints of Raphael’s depiction of the renaissance.

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