Schalk Van der Merwe

Born in 1968 - South Africa


Schalk van der Merwe is an artist from South Africa, born in 1968. He uses different techniques to realize his visceral paintings of portraits. Full of a tangible sensitivity, his ambiguous portraits are between tremendous beauty and absolute desperation.

The eyes of his portraits always seem willing to break the painted surface, exceed it to reach directly the viewer. Furthermore, to theses coats of painting are added coats of wood charcoal and turpentine.

The portraits of Schalk Van der Merwe are very recognizable through the practice of the artist: he realizes his portraits by giving big and large expressive brushstrokes.

Schalk Van der Merwe's work attempts to eliminate the mind of the creative process in order to propose a form of expression that he judges more honest. His art captures a wide range of emotions that always provokes strong reactions in the viewer.

“My work is not reliant on a cognitive process. I believe over thinking can destroy originality. My portraits aren’t about realism, perfection, gender or race. They explore and attempt to capture those qualities and emotions often hidden from view.” - Schalk Van der Merwe.

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