For more extensive artist's bio, articles and list of exhibitions, visit artist(s) website(s). Many of the images displayed on this site are copyrighted, and are used here only for purposes of education or critical review. All rights are reserved by the artists who created the works referenced herein.

Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. Simonides

EZEKIELA - Michela Ezekiela Riba

Diplomata al Liceo Artistico di Cuneo si laurea all'Accademia di Belle Arti in pittura seguendo corsi di grandi maestri come Antonio Carena e Marcus Parisini."Michela Riba espone una serie di lavori che raccontano la sua visione e interpretazione dell’ esistenza e dell’ esistente, la volonta di esprimere quell’ analisi intorno alla propria sensibilità,alle inquietudini quotidiane,alla condizione femminile. La Riba affida alle tele l’ essenza di un discorso in cui la raffigurazione si muove dalla pittura al fumetto rivisitato, dall’ introspezione alla poetica dell’ immagine fissata nella memoria come in un fotogramma. Misteriosa e simbolica,la sua donna appartiene a questo nostro tempo quanto mai complesso."

Mary Sauer


Studio Painter, Jeff Koons LLC 2010-Present

Freelance Artist, Garnett Hill 2011

Freelance Illustrator, Johnson & Johnson 2010-Present

Portrait Painter


The Art Student’s League of New York, 2011-Present

Apprenticed in the studio of William Whitaker, 2008-2009

BFA in Illustration from Brigham Young University, 2009

Neil Rodger

Neil Rodger
 Neil Rodger was born in 1941 in Mowbray, Cape Town. He now lives and works in the Eastern Cape, where he thrives on the austerity and solitude of the region. It seems that this environment is conducive to the enigmatic silence so characteristic of his finest work.

Rodger belongs with those individual realists who have, throughout the modern era, defied categorisation. Instead his art is characterized by his pursuit of the universality, timelessness and harmony found in all great art regardless of period or place. It is a measure of his conviction of the continuity of great art that he remains unmoved by revolutions, fashions or changing attitudes around him.

His cultural connections lie with Europe – to the Mediterranean by inclination and to the Netherlands by training – both of which are resounding influences. His surreal landscapes and architectural capriccios, his controlled, quiet, contemplative interiors, his heraldic animals all bespeak these inspirations. There is a self-confessed ambiguity in Rodger’s art. His subjects are deeply peaceful yet elusive, often remaining anonymous. There is a classical timelessness in these contemplative scenes, and yet his works remain unmistakably contemporary. His search for ever -increasing refinement of conception and means remains constant.

Rodger has worked in a variety of media in both painting and sculpture, and his work covers an exceptionally wide range of content. He is equally proficient in landscape, interiors, figures both nude and clothed. He also magnificently portrays animals - his bulls and cockerels achieve an almost emblematic presence. He is one of the country´s most sought-after portraitists; and spends time each year executing commissions abroad. His portraits characteristically set out to achieve considerably more than likeness, and most are considered to be evocative and memorable paintings over and above their function as portraits.

Rodger is currently one of the most popular, respected and admired artists in South Africa and he is rightly considered one of the great artists of his generation.

 ‘I believe that pictures rarely benefit from commentary
by the artist. In general I would say that while most good art has been
extremely difficult and taxing in the making, it is a prerequisite of great art
that this is not evident – that it appears effortless or even inevitable.’

 1961-63 & 1966 Michaelis School of Fine Art, Cape Town

1963-66 Rijks Academie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam

1981-82 Rhodes University, Masters Degree in Fine Art (cum laude)

 1963 Max Michaelis (prize for painting)

1965 Merit Award (painting) Rijksakademie

1982 Five Roses Young Artist of the Year, National Arts Festival, Grahamstown

 Throughout South Africa, the USA, the UK, Germany, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Portugal, Monte Carlo, Italy, Hong Kong, Namibia & Australia

Hanneke Benade

An award-winning painter, Benade has developed a distinctive aesthetic through her fluid yet taut technique. Using pastels she evokes subtle tonal gradations, as well as Baroque-like chiaroscuro effects. Through these dramatic juxtapositions of light and dark she depicts moody, ambivalent portraits, both of people and the mundane minutia of daily life.

Although chiefly renowned for her representations of women, in recent years Benade has depicted both genders – variously in somber or pastel hues – poised against almost pungent, black backdrops. Although individualized, the works suggest the typology of a patriarchal heritage; austere clothing and hairstyles predominate. Contained and constrained, this imagery evokes a world in which the mundane is augmented and immortalized, harking back to the genre of seventeenth century still-life painting. Yet Benade’s manipulation of startling colour contrasts reinforces the tension between surface containment and an underlying sense of displacement. In her works, backs are turned and eyes are downcast. When the gaze of the “sitter” meets that of the viewer, it signifies not a connection but rather, a distraction, as though the protagonist is out of kilter with the immediacy of time and place.

‘In time’ develops this sense of displacement into an idiomatic portal leading to a mythical time and place of childhood. Comprising 12 large scale pastel works on cotton paper ‘In time’ depicts an iconography with which we, as adults, are vicariously familiar: a couple having tea with a miniature tea-set sitting at a tiny table and small chairs; people playing hide and seek, These are of course children’s games and childhood artifacts belonging to a bygone era.

“Growing up, we tend to idealize the past while looking forward to that which is still to come,” she explains. ”But what might be is always uncertain and unknown. That’s why we tend to hold on our lost youth.”

Indeed, memory sometimes serves to blunt and smudge the more jagged edges of experience, augmenting sentimental emblems of innocence while conveniently erasing the often painful reality of childhood rites of passage. Yet what appear to be prima facie portraits of nostalgia, in fact evoke a sense of acute ambivalence and displacement. Her protagonists appear not only “out of time” but out of place, as well. An Ophelia-like form floats on water or glides on wafts of clouds; or both. Two men appear to be acting out the nursery rhyme: ‘Row your boat gently down the stream’… Yet they seem to be rowing - and going - nowhere.

‘In Time’, therefore suggests that the states of returned-innocence for which one yearns are clearly unattainable, while the objects of which one still claims ownership, become merely memento mori. If not dead symbols, they are now bereft of lived experience, out of scale and sync with the adults who hold onto them. As such the artifacts of innocence are revealed to be little more than immortalized fictions.

“Trying to relive the past will only alienate one in the present,” says Benade. “We become lost-in-time impostors, and out-of-place intruders. “


Hanneke Benade was born in Tshwane in 1972. She graduated from the University of Pretoria with a Fine Arts degree in 1993. She has since lectured at the university and curated a group exhibition.... Her paintings have been displayed in solo exhibitions in Gauteng and the Western Cape, as well as group shows throughout South Africa, as well as in Europe and Egypt. In 2003 she won the Brett Kebble Art Award in the category of Painting and Mixed Media.


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