After completing his art diploma from art school in Pretoria during the 80’s Abe studied a further 2 years of fashion design and then followed a 25-year career in the floral art industry. He turned his creative talent towards the canvas in 2007. The initial and continued support from those who connect with his work on a deeper level as a creative in the field of floral design, has propelled his desire to pursue and evolve his message in the form of painting, sculpture and ceramics.
Abe`s work is neither purely figurative, sentimental, or ever political. It is a visual narrative and commentary that is mostly the storytelling of tales past and present. Textural and abstract expressions is often interwoven as part of his artistic expression. Abe is influenced by memories of past happenings sparked by occurrences in his present daily life. He works in a style that he has developed over a long period of time. Often presented in black and white only. As the expression demands it, he easily leaps into bright textural renderings. In recent years, color, which he loves, is presented more purposefully – as his desire to bring joy and respite to anyone who observes his work, is heightened.
Despite the multi-faceted hardship created by the lockdowns in response to Covid 19, Abe found the time to be rather fruitful. A time in which he has been able to explore, reflect and experiment with greater freedom and importantly, without distraction. The period of isolation was a great time of retrospection, consideration and challenging himself, his technique, and his abilities with new mediums.
Abe will be presenting his next exhibition at the Abe Opperman Gallery in Franschhoek, during November 2021. The exhibition is undoubtedly brought about by his considerations and feeling of gratitude for freedom, beauty in its many forms and finding joy in the smallest corners of life, even in the mundane. His simple carefree childhood, flowers and trees are ever present in his work while whim and fantasy, remains a standard ingredient in conjuring up the characters of his visual tales.