• Jean-Michel van Doesburgh

    South Africa

    Jean-Michel van Doesburgh
    • Artist Statement
      • Humans, individuality and the human connection are the current themes in my paintings. My work is a culmination of all my creative influences. Everything from street art and graphic design, to classical painting and photography play a role in my art making process. The precise lines, rules and grids in my design work take a back seat when I paint. I allow myself to apply the medium freely and endeavour to stay absolutely present in the moment of application. This allows for maximum expression and bold use of the knife and paint.
    • Biography
      • N.Dip Visual Arts (Ruth Prowse School Of Art)


        I was taught by Andrew Putter at Rondebosch Boys High School. If you have come across one of Andrew’s students before, you will know that the love-inspired creative mission he sets you on is something incredible. Thinking back, I knew from the age of 15 that art (in some way) would be a large part of my life and that this is how I would make my living. I went on to study graphic design at Ruth Prowse School of Art. The design course was quite “fine art” based which allowed us to explore subjects like figure drawing, printmaking and painting.

    • Interview
      • Which new trends or South African artists do you find inspiring at the moment?
        The South African art scene in general is a very exciting place! From our expanding street art scene to emerging contemporary artists across the country. Being a part of an art community that is reaching people across the world is very inspiring and I am thankful for the part I get to play. I’m very excited by the work of younger artists like Chris Denovan, Christiaan Conradie, Lionel Smit and Faith47.

        Which South African deceased artist do you most admire and why?
        Irma Stern. Her abundant use of saturated colour and expressive style made a large impact, on my art and me during my school years and to this day I reference her work regularly.

        If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?
        Anything by Jean-Michel Basquiat.

        How did you get started? Did you always want to be an artist?

        I was taught by Andrew Putter at Rondebosch Boys High School. If you have come across one of Andrew’s students before, you will know that the love and inspired creative mission he sets you on is something incredible. I knew from the age of 15 that art and design would be a large part of my life and that this is how I would make my living. I went on to study graphic design at Ruth Prowse School of Art. The design course was quite “fine art” based which allowed us to explore subjects like figure drawing, printmaking and painting. I qualified and after years of being caught up in the corporate driven world of graphic design and advertising, I realized that energetically I needed a change. When I’m painting I give myself over to the process and it is extremely energizing. I found a very special love in painting!

        What are some of the key themes you explore in your work?

        I create art that captures human expression and form through portraits. Humans, individuality and the human connection are the current themes in my work. I love the immediate bond that can form between the viewer and the person/face in the painting. Being able to capture the power that each human possesses through my form of expression and then to let that be experienced by the viewer is a focus of mine.

        What inspired your latest body of work?

        The human beings we share the planet with. We are all designed to be extraordinary in our own way.

        Tell us more about your creative process.
        Coming from a design background, my process of creating art is similar to how I would approach a client brief, with a little more freedom and experimentation. I begin by searching the Internet for inspiration, often referring to the work of other artists. I’ll extract bits and pieces of visual information from what I find, and using my voice and experiences adapt and mold it into my own. I'm attracted to capturing the human form by blurring the lines between abstraction and realism. I often find myself walking the streets to capture my own images of interesting people and scenes that cross my path. Each painting is built up slowly and progressively using a process that is exquisitely experimental. I try to understand everything I can about the materials I use; everything from qualities of paint to how different mediums work together. It is this process that makes art so interesting and exciting for me, as well as allowing for many layers to be built up and create texture and more detail.

        What drives you as an artist?
        I enjoy the fact that no one else can create art exactly the same way as I can. It is invigorating to embrace that all work is absolutely unique. The process of creating is also such a wonderful thing. Through reading, sketching, researching and connecting with other people I learn more about myself as well as the world we live in. These experiences are big drivers in why I love to create art.

        Do you have a favourite or most meaningful work?
        Each work has it’s own meaning to me and I am grateful for every piece I create. My family is of very high value to me and I’m working on some old family portraits at the moment. Using old photographs as reference as well as the stories I’ve heard about the people I am studying, this kind of work resonates deeply within me.

        What is your greatest achievement as an artist to date?
        My greatest achievement is starting to paint again. There is no way to explain what it does to me mentally, physically and spiritually. I’m closest to my telos when I’m painting.

        What are your aspirations for the future?
        To continue to create and be a part of propelling the evolution of mankind through art.
  • pearl painting jean-michel van doesburgh JEAN-MICHEL VAN DOESBURGH
    Pearl
    Painting / 60 x 60 cm
    $780