Lionel Smit: a contemporary South African Artist

Lionel Smit: a contemporary South African Artist

Lionel Smit is a contemporary artist born in 1982 in Pretoria, South Africa. Authentic, he creates beautiful portraits on canvas, sculpture, silkscreen, videos and public installations.

In his childhood, he was inspired by Francis Bacon, Andy Warhol and Lucian Freud, but it was his father sculptor Anton Smit, who initiated the art and develop his gifts in sculpture. At the age of twelve, he worked clay and already considered himself a sculptor. Later, he will develop all his talents by going to study at the School of Arts Pro Arte in Pretoria.

In his art, Lionel shows the inhabitants of Cape Town, especially South African women in portraits that are both representative and abstract. With refined brush strokes, splattered paint, bright colors, colorful spots, these portraits bring a special atmosphere. One has the impression that there is an emotional conflict in the minds of these portraits.

These sculptures are a mixture of naturalism and abstraction. And, we discover a fusional relationship between sculpture and painting.

His work has been exhibited locally and internationally in the world’s leading galleries. Indeed, his work has been exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery in London, where he received the Viewer’s Choice Award. He received a Ministerial Award from the South African Department of Culture in 2013 for visual art. These works can also be seen in numerous private collections, including Standard Chartered Bank and Laurence Graff Art Collection, as well as Paul Harris’ private art collection exhibited at Ellerman House.


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