Nic de Jesus Solo Exhibition
21 March – 18 April 2020
Art In The Yard Franschhoek
Landscape and Seascape Painting and Drawing have been the primary subject matter for South African Artist, Nic De Jesus, however, his latest works speak to ‘Cosmic Forms’ and ‘Figurative Painting’ which is something new for the artist, or is it?
While at work in 2019 on his first South African solo exhibition which was planned to take place in 2020, Nic was challenged with Encephalitis a life threatening condition or an ‘Awakening’ as he calls it. This illness would halt the artists preparation and production for the proposed show, ultimately forcing Nic to abandon the potential of a complete Solo Show.
Induced comas, seizures, brain swelling and the support of loved ones, these experiences left the artist with unfathomable questions of what it means to be part of the fabric of life.
After much deliberation and a long period of recovery, Nic decided to proceed with a small collection of works titled ‘Enclave ’ which is the artists entry point to contemplating the experiences endured.
The works limited colour palette – pigment which are often ground by the artist himself, is a nod to a time of great craftsmanship and is a reminder to Nic of all the masters that came before him and the lessons one may learn through history. The works continue to draw inspiration from the great Sculptures and Painters of the past and as a result Nics technique of layering translucent coloured oil paint, whereby each dried layer supports the next layer is again a ‘tip of the hat’ to those great masters. This technique of painting is slow but the end result is rich with depth and atmosphere – A common thread that Nic weaves through all of his work.
In an exhibition format, ‘ Enclave’ is a nod to the artists’ love of film editing – a profession he once occupied. Nic uses ‘Parallel editing’ – A technique of alternating two or more scenes that often happen simultaneously but in different locations. For example, the Painting, ‘Beyond the Pale’ – a woman walking over a summit holding a vessel will join the paintings Pneuma I & II , and ‘Prelude which at first sight resemble abstract forms. While the work may have apocalyptic and post apocalyptic undertones they are grouped to remind us of how connected we are.
‘And I ask…what will it be like… to live in union with our planet. Are we so different, you and I, that we require a crisis to see each other.’
Nic continues in his prefered ‘Series Format’ and ‘Enclave’ will sit amongst Nic’s opus of Drawings and Paintings – ‘ The Fire Next Time’ & ‘Mare Incognitum.’