Here’s a selection of seven young and emerging contemporary painters who we think you should keep an eye on, and who prove that the medium of painting is still very much alive and kicking. Each of these artists are honing their distinctive style, yet a common theme throughout each of their work is an acute reflexive understanding of the act of painting – of mark making, of traditional modes and of the context within which they’re working.
Alexander Karakashian is a Cape Town based artist with a degree in Fine Art from Michaelis. Her work investigates the relationships between natural environments and the aesthetics of landscape painting, through the examination of process and uncertainty that exist within both the natural world and developments in painting.
Yael Feldman is a Johannesburg based painter with a BFA from Wits School of the Arts. Her work is interested in painting as a form, the limitations of a frame but also the seduction that happens within the rectangle. She is preoccupied with ordinary objects and sites that are avoided and show signs of neglect and often bases her work on the stories that arise from these places or things.
Daniel Nel is a Rhodes graduate with a degree in Fine Art. He paints walls and canvasses, as well as makes films. The images he creates are expansive, and aim to articulate more than the sum of their parts through intertextual inference. His subject matter is drawn from moments that are difficult to understand, that point to a world beyond and behind surface experience.
Mia Chaplin holds a BFA desgree from the Michaelis School of Fine Art. Her works are highly expressive and characterised by muted tones and visible brushstrokes that give her paintings a tactile quality. Landscapes and portraits form her main subject matter, which communicate a feeling of estrangement; a detachment between the artist and the world.
Heidi Fourie graduated with a BA Fine Arts from the University of Pretoria in 2012. She is fascinated by the fine balance between control, and uncontrollability, order and chaos, and figuration and its negation that comes into play when painting an image. She often reinvestigate and reinterpret the tradition of genre painting and her work often consists of multiple smaller fragments as opposed to single monumental pieces. Rather than competing with photography in order to create hyper realistic paintings, she explores and embraces painting’s own inherent language and marks.
Alexia Vogel is a recent Michaelis School of Fine Art graduate. She considers all of her paintings landscapes, even the most abstract ones. She works from old family photographs of landscapes which she feels are imbued with a romantic sentimentality. Her work is very personal, as she considers it the affect of these images, or the memory of them.
Kirsten Lilford is a Cape Town based artist with a BFA from Michaelis who through her brushstrokes imparts an uncanny and slightly sinister tone into snapshots of everyday family outings, domestic scenes and the suburban ‘idyll’.