Henk Serfontein | Cape Town, South Africa
Henk Serfontein (b. 1971) is an award-winning artist who came to prominence with his hyperreal paintings of nightscapes, featuring the marginal, transitory spaces of South Africa.
Throughout the past decade, Serfontein’s abstracts explored similar themes and psychological spaces, questioning the space between European tradition and adventurous, unrestrained African aesthetic as he excavates his own identity: not quite African, not quite European. A deep, enduring attachment to the landscape pervades as an intersection of identity, culture and history.
Serfontein’s recent Maputo Abstracts series relies heavily on confrontative colour as invoked by the ubiquitous capulanas (popular wax-printed cloths). His geometric compositions echo the art deco lines of the Mozambican city’s buildings and ceramics.
Serfontein drew on his design sensibility in the creation of the 10m2 mosaic commissioned for Nando’s Soho, produced in collaboration with Spier Arts Academy. Inspired by Matisse, Serfontein created this composition by cutting out replicas of his own existing artworks and rearranging them within highly irregular dimensions in a format reminiscent of landscape. Intrinsic to the concept is the relevance of the mosaic materials: included is stone endemic to South Africa, thus literally bringing the landscape to European soil, hence materialising the act of cultural export and intersection.
Henk Serfontein holds a degree in Fine Art (cum laude) from the Tshwane University of Technology (1997) and studied at the Cite Internationale des Arts in Paris, France (1997-1999). He has lectured art at tertiary level, adjudicated national art competitions and is an accomplished curator of exhibitions.