Marittie de Villiers
Rio, acrylic on canvas, 39 x 59 in
Elemental, oil on canvas, 20 x 24 in
Moonjogger, acrylic on canvas, 20 x 24 in
Azini, acrylic on canvas, 39 x 59 in
Bijou, acrylic on canvas, 39 x 59 in
Au Naturelle, acrylic on canvas, 12 x 24 in
Monk in the garden, acrylic on canvas, 47 x 59 in
Insh’allah, acrylic on canvas, 59 x 59 in
About The Artist
For Marittie de Villiers, the paint itself and the very act of painting constitute her art to the fullest degree. The past year the subject matter has been consistent- portraiture is her preferred mode and the models are everyday people that cross her path. Marittie chooses people that have a very specific soulfulness which connects to her visual sensitivity.
However, up-scaled to many times their life size and abstracted according to her particular technique, these faces are imbued with an immense authority that is impossible to overlook. Faithful realism is not her interest, but an expressionistic vision formed by bands of colour and very gestural swathes of paint.
Drawn by degrees into the multifarious dimensions of the portrait, the painted surface becomes more significant than the form she has chosen to represent. Like the artist, the viewer does not operate completely automatically. Unlike, for instance, the vast colour fields of Rothko, in which the viewer can lost entirely in subconscious wandering, her paintings retain ties to figuration. Hence, the viewer is confronted with random analytical challenges as s/he is absorbed into the surface of the work.
Marittie’s refusal to refute figurative painting altogether, opting rather for a compromise between her delight in the act of painting and diligent representation, she attributes to her belief in the portrait as a vehicle to communicate a broader subject. Despite her view of the painting as secondary to the act of painting itself, this energy is not lost to the viewer. Residues of the action remain. Through the access point of the represented face the audience, although prevented from viewing what she views as the artwork itself, is able nonetheless to participate in the beauty of the body as a landscape of all human experience.