September Artist of the Month | Robyn Pretorius/ Artist of the month
Cape Town native Robyn Pretorius, started illustrating at the age of 13 and quickly impressed those around her with her artistic abilities. She became the youngest cartoonist for the South African Sunday Times in 2001, and was chosen as one of seven artists to exhibit their work as part of the New York Trade Mission in association with the South African government. Her first feature exhibition was last year in association with YoungBlood Art Gallery in Cape Town, before also being featured as one of the RED-inspired artists in the space this June.
As a child Robyn was introverted and shy, finding it challenging to communicate. She discovered that art was an effective way for her to connect with other people and it became the way she expressed herself.
Her hyper realistic portraiture immediately grabs the attention of the observer and her attention to detail is fascinating. As someone who is naturally highly observant of people, she was inspired by the stories and backgrounds of her subjects. She aims to not only paint the details of her subject’s figures, but also to express their personal stories through her paintings.
What inspires you?
I believe that everyone has a story. When I meet new people I hear and learn who they are and it’s these stories that inspire me. Thus my art always takes me on an adventure because I have to engage and listen to interesting conversations which often start new friendships. No story is the same and this makes every painting process interesting and unique. One of the techniques that allow me to interpret these stories is the use of multimedia elements in a collage form as the background before painting the subject realistically. It’s like gathering data and connecting the dots. Cutting and pasting my findings can be extremely exciting and challenging, but in the end the background reveals a unique the story of the person I’ve painted.
Why is Robyn RED?
We love how multi-layered Robyn’s work is. Not only does she have a unique style, a fusion of photorealism, romanticism and contemporary art, but she also uses the backgrounds of her portraits to fuse together different aspects of her subject’s life and story.
Her artwork entices you with it’s incredible detail, but it also connects people to others in an increasingly disconnected world. We at believe at RED that people should be brought together and love her ambition of creating engaging pieces that bond people.
We love her positive outlook on life too – Robyn says for her to be successful means being happy! She hopes to keep doing what she loves for the rest of her life and surrounding herself with happy and inspiring people. We can definitely get on board with that!
Work we love…
You can find Robyn’s work at: