Schalk van der Merwe

Artwork

Bacon and Eggs

Schalk van der Merwe

Bacon and Eggs

Mixed Media on Canvas

29.90 x 23.60 in

$1,380.00

The Idiot, 2015

Schalk van der Merwe

The Idiot, 2015

Mixed Media on Canvas

49 x 39 in

$3,200.00

Visceral #55, 2015

Schalk van der Merwe

Visceral #55, 2015

Mixed Media on Canvas

49 x 39 in

$3,200.00

Fleshpig

Schalk van der Merwe

Fleshpig

Mixed Media on Canvas

49 x 39 in

$3,200.00

Visceral #28

Schalk van der Merwe

Visceral #28

Mixed Media on Fabriano Paper

39 x 28 in

$2,200.00

Lilith, 2015

Schalk van der Merwe

Lilith, 2015

Mixed Media on Canvas

49 x 39 in

$3,200.00

Visceral #3, 2014

Schalk van der Merwe

Visceral #3, 2014

Mixed Media on Canvas

29.90 x 23.60 in

$1,380.00

Neon Carnivore

Schalk van der Merwe

Neon Carnivore

Mixed Media on Canvas

49 x 39 in

$3,200.00

Visceral #32

Schalk van der Merwe

Visceral #32

Mixed Media on Fabriano Paper

39 x 28 in

$2,200.00

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Schalk van der Merwe
South-African artist Schalk van der Merwe visceral portraits have a directness about them, yet are underpinned with a tangible fragility. Ambiguous features can morph from immense beauty into utter despair, with hints of the eyes breaking the surface beneath layers of paint, turpentine, charcoal, expressive brush strokes and often the physical DNA from the artist’s fingertips. van der Merwe’s work explores the concept of taking the mind out of the creative process to allow for a more honest expression. Capturing a vast range of emotions, which often provokes a strong reaction from the viewer. van der Merwe explains that his work is not reliant on a cognitive process and that by over thinking can destroy originality. His portraits aren’t about realism, perfect, gender or race. He aims to capture those qualities and emotions often hidden from view. These faces reveal themselves to the artist in blurred flashes, where identity, likeness, and gender are neither clear nor important. These fleeting ghosts always illicit raw feelings and it’s these visceral emotions he tries to capture. Schalk van der Merwe’s latest series can be read as a reaction to the new global socio-political realities. In ‘Not So Funny Now’ this South African artist continues his distinctive painting style but his latest portraits manifest a more visceral and harsh presentation. The series is more provocative with a directness about them, though still underpinned with a tangible fragility that defines his work. Each portrait has a delicate, almost melancholic expression with a coarse and visceral application of paint. Each face offers some deeply personal recognition of the subject it addresses even though the features sometimes are blurred to the point of anonymity. Schalk’s work is filled with emotion in its purest, rawest form.“We can all see ourselves, or at least parts of ourselves in portraits and this coupled with the fearless expression in my work, often triggers emotions that many people don’t want to acknowledge, face or sometimes even knew existed within them. It is my responsibility as an artist to explore this part of the psyche that is rarely acknowledged. Sometimes these emotions can be gentle and beautiful, whereas theory times they can be brutal, raw and filled with utter despair. My work tried to reflect and make sense of it all.” – Schalk van der Merwe
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Artist