HAPPY TO SEE YOU: solo exhibition by Chris Denovan

A solo exhibition by Chris Denovan

10 - 26 September 2020
50 Buitenkant Street, Cnr Roeland & Buitenkant Street, Cape Town.
Gallery hours: 10 - 4 Mon to Friday, 10 - 1 Saturdays
or by appointment

Please join us for "Happy To See You" a solo exhibition of new paintings by Chris Denovan, available to view at StateoftheART in Cape Town and online in a 3D space from 10 - 26 September 2020.


"We’ve all had an unexpected story in our lives that surrounds the COVID virus. Many, if not all of our plans for 2020 have changed. For me personally I should be on an art residency in Spain working towards a solo exhibition in Valencia. And now, in terms of that show, all that has changed is the location: being in my home town of Cape Town is a blessing as I’m surrounded by friends and family. We may not be able to connect truly but the knowledge that we’re close is a comfort.

A lot of people tell me that as an artist I'm fairly versatile when it comes to different styles of painting. I love to experiment with my work and that produces many different effects and end results. One thing that remains a constant though is subject matter. I always focus on the human form and portraiture. Due to Covid-19 this new show on portraits has a further meaning. Coming close to people is now deemed a danger. We can't see each other, we can't get close. As I started to make these works in the "new normal" environment the symbolism behind painting faces took on a new meaning and became stronger. To me these portraits became live characters in my studio, people for me to interact with. They brought to mind moments and memories that I or others may have experienced before isolation. Time spent together amongst friends outside in the sun or perhaps by the sea.

In a way it feels like I'm taking inspiration from earlier work and trying to latch onto something from the past, something that reminds me of a less turbulent time. This show is deeper because of covid. In these dark times where disease and death seem so close, life begins to glow more like precious gold than ever before. Look deep into a person's face. An unmasked face. What's in the face? What story is there or memory? What is that person about? It feels like I'm allowing myself and others to get closer to someone in a time where it is illegal to gather.

This show is about getting closer to people. That's what I miss the most. I’m happy to be here and most of all I’m happy to see you, it's been too long." - Chris Denovan