Renowned artists donating their work to raise funds for youth development
Cape Town’s spectacular black-tie charity gala ‘Chefs who share – the ART of giving’ will be working with the crème de la crème of South Africa’s artists for this year’s event, which will take place in the Cape Town City Hall on Thursday 10 September 2015.
The ART element has played a vital part in the gala’s enormous success over the past two years, thanks to the generous donations artists have made to help raise funds for youth development in South Africa. As in previous years, works of art will be presented during an auction on the night, once again presided over by Iain Banner. The auction is set to be one of the highlights of the evening, affording guests the opportunity to bid for outstanding pieces by some of South Africa’s leading artists – as well as special once-off travel and lifestyle experiences.
This year’s hand-selected artists, chosen for their individual success in their respective genres, represent a wide range of backgrounds and personalities. For some, art runs in the family, as seen in father and son duo Anton and Lionel Smit and husband and wife team Samuel Allerton and Heike Allerton-Davies. The doyenne of bronze sculptures, Jean Doyle, modern-day mom Marieke Prinsloo-Rowe, whose art piece received the highest bid in last year’s auction, and up-and-coming artist Ingrid Bolton constitute a group of strong, inspiring women. Philanthropist Richard Scott donates profits from his art sales to building new schools for the many disadvantaged children in his region. Keith Calder and photographer David Lurie distinguish themselves through their conservation background and a keen eye for nature. David Kuijers and Jimmy Law began their careers as illustrators before making the switch to full-time artists. Geographically, artists reside locally as well as internationally, from Cape Town (Schalk Van der Merwe) to Kenya (emerging artist Cyrus Kabiru) and Sweden (Russell Travers). Rounding off this impressive line-up is an artist who also has a career as a celebrated singer-songwriter – Arno Carstens.
As eclectic as their background and circumstances may be, what many of these artists have in common is that their work is a reflection of their stories and struggles, often precipitated by a traumatic event or series thereof. The featured art pieces are a depiction of their emotional outlet-given life, with a number of artists telling stories of how they found their niche skills while going through some kind of trauma.
Lionel Smit is best known for his contemporary portraiture, reinterpreted through monumental canvases and sculptures. He is considered to be one of South Africa’s youngest investment artists and over the past 10 years has established a substantial international following. His work has been exhibited in art fairs in Germany, India, Amsterdam, Monaco, London and Hong Kong. Seeing one of his paintings on the cover of a Christie’s Auction Catalogue has been a career highlight to date.
For decades Anton Smit has been a firm favourite amongst the finest statesmen and the most famous art collectors from around the globe, with standout achievements too many to mention. His body of work comprises towering human figures, nudes, impressive heads, masks, hands, angels, floating and stretching figures, warriors as well as abstract works, using mostly steel, metal, sand casting, fiberglass and bronze.
Richard Scott is a household name that needs little introduction. His subject matter ranges from the female figure to cats, cars, lighthouses and planes, all characterised by a distinctive thick black line. He coined the term ‘Naive meets Pop’ to describe his unique take on art. Scott’s work is mostly sold outside of South Africa, with European art collectors owning at least 75% of the 2,500 paintings he has produced in the last 10 years.
Jean Doyle is one of South Africa’s leading sculptors. Her magnificent bronzes are renowned all over the world and are found in many public and private collections. Public sculptures include monumental works such as Nelson Mandela’s ‘Long walk to Freedom’ monument, situated at the Groot Drakenstein Prison in Paarl. Doyle was recently awarded CEO Magazine’s ‘Lifetime Achiever Award’ for South Africa’s most influential women in Business and Government.
Born in Cape Town, Russell Travers left for Sweden in 1981 as a refugee, being granted asylum as a war resister and deserter from the South African Military. Travers paints images collected from various sources, which are then defaced and compressed – their formations and patterns recreated and layered in a coloured and multi-textured way. In 1998 he opened a daylight studio in Cape Town, using it as a base for his expanding repertoire of large-format oil paintings. Travers still resides in Sweden.
Marieke Prinsloo- Rowe
The primary focus and preoccupation of Prinsloo-Rowe’s body of work is and has been an exploration of the female form. She is intrigued by the way in which sculpture mimics the three dimensionality of a human presence and thus the slightly surreal dialogue it invites. Prinsloo-Rowe has completed numerous private and public commissions and her work is represented in several public sites, private collections and galleries both nationally and abroad.
David was born in Vanderbijlpark to Dutch immigrant parents. With his Fine Art course at Cape Technicon discontinued, he ended up majoring in illustration in 1989. After freelancing as a designer/illustrator for some years, several large commissions helped ease his transition to full-time artist. Kuijers’ work, which incorporates clean cut lines and vibrant colours, is well known throughout the greater Cape Town area.
Schalk Van der Merwe
Schalk van der Merwe’s work explores the concept of taking the mind out of the creative process to allow for a more honest expression. His visceral portraits capture a vast range of emotions and often provoke a strong reaction from the viewer. Ambiguous features can morph from immense beauty into utter despair, with hints of the eyes breaking the surface beneath layers of paint, charcoal, turpentine and expressive brush strokes.
A self-taught photographer, David Lurie began working on documentary projects part-time in 1990 and full-time in 1995, following the publication of his first book. His work has been widely published and exhibited in the UK, Europe, the USA, Australia, South Africa and the Middle East. He is the recipient of numerous awards and his work is held in several public and private collections. After living in London for 31 years, Lurie returned to Cape Town in 2011.
Heike Allerton-Davies’ work often focuses on female sexuality and the complexities of being objectified by the male gaze. Using mixed media, from acrylic to watercolours, she is concerned with creating portraits that reflect a degree of discomfort, and a reality that is blatant but carries many subtle undertones. Issues of vulnerability and strength are explored and portrayed in large-scale nudes in various confrontational portraits.
Ingrid Bolton is relatively new on the South African Art scene, her first solo exhibit having taken place in 2013. Having won the Sasol New Signatures exhibition in 2012, she has managed to establish herself as a household name in a short amount of time. Bolton has just relocated to Cape Town from Franschhoek and is currently completing her Masters degree at UCT.
Starting out as a freelance illustrator in the comic book industry, Jimmy Law became a full-time artist in 2008. His focus is on creating energetic and expressive portraits and nudes in oils on a large format, with most of his paintings currently consisting of palette knife work combined with brushes. His paintings can be found in the homes and offices of clients around South Africa, as well as in the homes of collectors around the world.
Calder’s initial training in the animal form began whilst working in the field of nature conservation and field guiding. In 1988 he received his first commission and left the bush to concentrate on sculpture. He has since become one of South Africa’s most well-known sculptors. Calder occupies a unique position in the art world in that he is well known for successfully creating both realistic and stylised sculptures.
Sculptor Samuel Allerton studied at Ampleforth College in England and the Slade in London before returning to South Africa to complete a degree in sculpture at the Michaelis School of Fine Art at UCT. Since then he has worked full-time as a sculptor, predominantly creating works for private collectors both locally and abroad. Allerton is strongly influenced by nature and the fate of the environment, with his work exuding a powerful primitive source that proves to be timeless.
Cyrus Kabiru is a self-taught emerging Kenyan artist, best known for his elaborate and detailed sculptural spectacles or ‘C-Stunners’, made from found objects and recycled material sourced on the streets of Nairobi. The project has rapidly evolved in recent years, with Kabiru now exhibiting all over the world. The Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) recently purchased the full first edition of his Macho Nne series for permanent display.
Best known for his career as a singer-songwriter, multi-award winning artist Arno Carstens has in fact been expressing himself across a variety of creative media over the last twenty years. Decades in the making, his love for painting has culminated in an extensive collection. Carstens paints in oils on canvas, with themes drawn from his emotions and subconscious. The work is bold and expressive, sometimes playful, sometimes sinister, with a hint of the surreal.
About Chefs who share
‘Chefs who share – the ART of giving’ was created by Barbara Lenhard in 2013 to raise funds for youth development in South Africa. The gala has, in a short amount of time, become a not-to-be-missed event, drawing top chefs, sommeliers, artists, guests and contributors from across the country and raising almost R4 million for charity. The third annual gala will take place in Cape Town’s City Hall on Thursday 10 September 2015, presented by Mercedes-Benz and associate sponsors Deutsche Bank, Swiss International Air Lines and Bulgari. Paired in seven teams, 14 of the country’s top chefs and seven acclaimed sommeliers will lend their time and creativity to create a culinary feast for 252 guests, while some of South Africa’s leading artists donate exceptional, exclusive works of art which will be auctioned off on the night. As in previous years, 100% of the money raised at ‘Chefs who share – the ART of giving’ via ticket sales, as well as all proceeds from the auction, will go to two charities, carefully chosen by the organisers: MAD Leadership Foundation and the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.