Frans Smit

South African, 1976

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The captivating paintings of South African born artist Frans Smit reimagine the Old Masters and bring them back to life by boldly contrasting them with modern techniques. This carefully balanced meeting of current and traditional media on the canvas allows the artist to formulate a new visual language that reaches both into the past and the future.

Smit demonstrates his skill as a fine art photographer in his use of dramatic lighting; dark backgrounds that give way to luminescent portraits. On canvas, the artist wields a wide range of contemporary media and practices that are carefully brought into balance with highly orthodox and classical approaches to painting, giving famous and lesser-known masterpieces by Rembrandt, John Singer Sargent, Van Eyck, Velazquez and others new life and meaning. Realistically rendered segments reference the original images and serve as an anchor from which Smit experiments with graffiti, motion painting, abstraction and a variety of modern materials including metallic and neon paints.

Frans Smith’s paintings have been part of over 50 exhibitions locally and internationally. The artist currently lives and works in Cape Town, South Africa.