February 28, 2015

Portrait Paintings By Floris van Zyl

Floris van Zyl is a South African artist based in the small village of Hilton, Kwazulu Natal. He grew up in Pretoria and qualified as a Graphic Designer in 1993 where he started his own design agency. By 2009 he relocated away from the pressure of the city and decided to shift focus away from commercial design and concentrate on his passion for art. He brings to his work the ​​​​analytical eye of a graphic designer but tempers this ​​​​​formality with a loose, almost reckless method of​​​ applying paint to his canvas.  

​His subject is rendered in blocks and dabs of colour often built up layer upon layer achieving his intention of, “creating images that work at a distance but become even more rewarding at close range.”

He explores these combinations of natural and man-made shapes in his portraits and figure studies where the human form is sometimes set against rigid formal structured shapes.
Inspiration comes from many sources: “I am influenced and inspired by my own life, also by observing the lives of other people.”

Before making a mark on the canvas Floris determines what he calls the subject’s emotional climate. “It is more a feeling than anything else.” Next he considers the technical aspects of the subject, such as its shape, textures and colours.

“I decide how I can use these to promote the feeling I want to achieve. I have a general idea of the ‘feeling’ of the painting before I begin. I find the appropriate references and the correct way to paint it, so that there is nothing Inessential or unrelated to the topic in the process. It is difficult to describe, but I like to be direct and to the point with the subject.”

“Much of my work is expressive so there is always something new for the viewer to notice and discover, even after long inspection. My work is an ongoing process of self challenge and evolution, I don't like to get stuck on a recipe. I want to give people the opportunity to enjoy and interpret my work largely for themselves.”

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