Solly Smook - Artist
Location: Riebeek Valley
Solly Smook was born in Otjiwarongo, Namibia. He matriculated at Jan Van Riebeek High School in Cape Town and studied graphic design at the Cape Technikon. He became a full-time artist in 2003.
Sol is known for his spiritual art and uses his art to teach and portray the beauty and majesty of life, the miracles that lies beyond the dogma of Sunday teachings, the unity of all and every thing and the power of faith. With his paintings he asks the viewer to go beyond the physical without discarding it.
He has had over 40 very successful group and solo exhibitions Smook has built a reputation for producing challenging works that evoke memories of emotion in the viewer beyond their aesthetic appeal. His work has drawn attention across the globe, and hangs in the homes of art lovers on five continents – from SA to Australia, Ireland to Buenos Aires.
His recent artwork explores concepts relating to the uniqueness of emotion and the importance of it in our lives – this process attempts to re-consider the conventions of portrait painting through a continued pursuit toward the more contemporary. The goal is to create paintings that engage with matters beyond what is immediately visible, quite often consciously and reflexively questioning the nature of spiritual identity as something deconstructed, created, and tangible.
“ I am significantly concerned with the beauty of the human being.. Inspired by a wild deviation from dogma and the truth of spiritual matter that lies blatantly in sight. I do not try to portray the struggle, the past, or any other form of oppression that some might expect from art. Instead I aim to bring or portray the beauty we seldom see.
Reminding the viewer to feel. Reminding the viewer of the spirit within.”
Sol strongly believes in giving back to the community and regularly donates art to be auctioned for charity. For instance, his artwork was auctioned at the Foundling museum in London for Foodbank Africa.
The artist is also a member of Mirca and donated art to The Rainbow Experience at Mandela Rhodes, in support of Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Prizewinning peace activist who stands for the rights of individuals, freedom and democracy in the face of a brutal dictatorship in Burma. Proceeds from sales was for Amnesty International.