• Danelle Malan

    Danelle Malan
    • Artist Statement
      • This quote by John Berger (Ways of Seeing, p.17) encircles my whole art practice.

        "The important point is that a valid work of art promises in some way or another the possibility of an increase, an improvement. Nor need the work be optimistic to achieve this; indeed, its subject may be tragic. For it is not the subject that makes the promise, it is the artist’s way of viewing his subject. Goya’s way of looking at a massacre amounts to the contention that we ought to be able to do without massacres"
    • Biography

      • BA Fine Art (The Michaelis School Of Art)


        Danelle Malan was born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa. She completed her Fine Arts degree at the Michaelis School of Fine Art in 2010. Her favourite media include gouache, acrylics, charcoal, inks and graphite. Apart from fine art, she also has a great passion for illustration, both traditional and digital. She makes jewellery and bakes legendary banana loaves in her spare time.
        She presently resides in the Gardens, Cape Town, with her two needy cats.


        Selected Exhibitions:


        2015
        Speechless curated by Su Opperman and Andy Mason, Erdmann Contemporary, Cape Town.

        2014
        BLIKSEM! curated by Andrew Lamprecht. Change Room, Cape Town.

        2013
        Open Book Comics Fest curated by Andy Mason & Moray Rhoda. District 6 Homecoming Centre, Cape Town.
        Pieces & Puzzles: Compositions of human expression inspired by nature, curated by Stefanie Schoeman. Lovell Gallery, Cape Town.
        Halloween Hybrid curated by KEda Gomez & Aveline Kyffin. Studio 41, Cape Town.

        2012
        (eco)onversations curated by Janet Botes. CTICC, Cape Town.
        Walk This Earth Alone, curated by Stefanie Schoeman, Gallery @ Grande Provance, Franschoek.

        2010
        Graduate Exhibition, curated by The Michaelis School of Fine Art, Cape Town.

        Achievements:
        Deans Merit List 2010
        Artwork purchased for the UCT collection

    • Interview
      • What themes do you pursue?
        I often work with animals and animal-like imagery. There's something very engaging about animals to me. Thematically, I tend to oscillate between the light-hearted and the sombre. The two are not mutually exclusive, either: As John Berger points out in his iconic work, "Ways Of Seeing" (p. 17):
        "The important point is that a valid work of art promises in some way or another the possibility of an increase, an improvement. Nor need the work be optimistic to achieve this; indeed, its subject may be tragic. For it is not the subject that makes the promise, it is the artist’s way of viewing [their] subject. Goya’s way of looking at a massacre amounts to the contention that we ought to be able to do without massacres"

        How many years an artist?
        I have always made art and sold work outside of regular activities (I sold my first painting at age 8 for R12.50. I was so proud, too!), but I have been a practicing artist in an official capacity since end 2010, when I finished my studies at UCT.

        What should people know about your art that they can’t tell from looking at it?
        I don't only do fine art in the traditional sense, I hybridise it a lot with comic and sci-fi art. I am interested in a wide variety of genres and my work reflects this. I would recommend looking at more of it, if the viewer wishes to get a more complete impression of my creative walk.

        Which living or dead artist would you most like to meet?

        It's very difficult to narrow this down. I would say probably Frida Kahlo and Leonardo da Vinci. I'd like to hear the philosophies of the former while discussing nifty inventions with the latter. And maybe find out what the Mona Lisa is smiling/not smiling about.

        Tell us about your studio. Location, clean, cluttered, big, small, etc?
        I share my Cape Town studio with my partner Ben. It is the living room of our flat, in fact! We have our couch in there, an exercise bike, lots and lots of books, paper, a cat tree, two cats, comics stockpiles, tables, computers and a lot of art supplies. It gets very cluttered, yes.

        Art school or self-taught?
        I was fortunate enough to be able to take co-curricular art classes as a child, right through to Matric. After that I took a three year break and then studied fine arts at Michaelis (UCT).

        Do you prefer to work with music or in silence?
        Silence, usually.

        Favourite brush?
        I love doing teeny tiny little pictures with teeny tiny little brushes - those cheap round 000 brushes. For washes of watercolour, nothing beats natural bristle brushes. The flat and round ones are best.

        Where can we find you out side of the studio?
        For the most part, you can't, because I'm something of a hermit. ;)

        If you couldn't be an artist, what would you do?

        I have no idea! I can't imagine life without making art.

        Interests other than art?
        I love reading, comics (both reading them and making them), and playing video games.

        What do you collect?

        Books and art supplies.

        What was the best advice given to you as an artist?

        When I was studying at, my graduate year painting lecturer Virginia MacKenny used to say "Kill the dolphin!" - meaning, when your work just isn't turning out right, don't be so precious/emotional about it that you're incapable of scrapping it and starting over.

        Are there messages within your work?
        Not always, but I like to think the viewer experiences a state of meditation when looking at my work. I like to think that my work is at times entertaining and at times meaningful and sometimes both. It is up to the viewer to take from it what they will.

        What does your art process entail?
        Much of it is spontaneous, but sometimes I will make sketches/studies and take notes before starting work, especially if it is for a specific show or publication.

        What are your inspirations?
        Animals, nature, people, places, books, movies, life events, experiences.

        What materials couldn’t you live without?
        Good paper, watercolour, graphite and ink. And probably Photoshop, as I also do a lot of digital work.



  • Leopard Blues - Drawing by Danelle Malan DANELLE MALAN
    Leopard Blues
    Drawing / 76 x 101 cm
    $592
  • Koukus - Painting by Danelle Malan DANELLE MALAN
    Koukus
    Painting / 38 x 76 cm
    $509
  • Specimen Bags II - Painting by Danelle Malan DANELLE MALAN
    Specimen Bags II
    Painting / 92 x 73 cm
    $588
  • Specimen Bags I - Painting by Danelle Malan DANELLE MALAN
    Specimen Bags I
    Painting / 107 x 67 cm
    $588
  • Specimen Shelf II - Drawing by Danelle Malan DANELLE MALAN
    Specimen Shelf II
    Drawing / 137 x 56 cm
    $588
  • Postcards From Space: VIII - Painting by Danelle Malan
    DANELLE MALAN
    Postcards From Space: VIII
    Painting / 76 x 56 cm
  • Postcards From Space: VII - Watercolour Painting by Danelle Malan
    DANELLE MALAN
    Postcards From Space: VII
    Watercolour Painting / 76 x 56 cm
  • Water Under The Bridge - Mixed Media Drawing by Danelle Malan
    DANELLE MALAN
    Water Under The Bridge
    Mixed Media Drawing / 150 x 90 cm
  • Carousel of Extinction I - Drawing by Danelle Malan
    DANELLE MALAN
    Carousel of Extinction I
    Drawing / 42 x 30 cm
  • Specimen Shelf I - Painting by Danelle Malan
    DANELLE MALAN
    Specimen Shelf I
    Painting / 137 x 56 cm
  • Untitled (Caracal) - Painting by Danelle Malan
    DANELLE MALAN
    Untitled (Caracal)
    Painting / 28 x 21 cm