• Chris Denovan

    Chris Denovan
    • Artist Statement
      • At art school I wasn’t very honest with myself - how can you make art if you're not interested in looking in the one place where it lives; YOU!

        Having left art school I was disillusioned and felt lost in the art world. I turned my back on painting and tried to move forward to something else. So I studied and worked in animation. This semi worked for 5 years, and while I didn’t touch a brush to canvas, I did start to learn more about me.

        Then one day someone very close to me died and life did a somersault which resulted in me picking up a brush once more. Painting again never felt so right. I resigned from my job as an animator, made an art studio for myself and started to create art again. This time with a more mature and honest approach. Gerhard Richter once said; 'Art is like religion; You only know it once you've lost it'. This rang true to me and I knew I was meant to be a painter and nothing else.
    • Biography
      • N.Dip Fine Art (Ruth Prowse School Of Fine Art)

        Christopher Denovan was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1983. He graduated from Ruth Prowse with a body of work focusing on Portraiture depicting Prejudice and Discrimination in gender and ethnicity. In 2006 Chris began studies at 'The Animation School' where he went on to win the 'Best Concept Characters' prize and graduated with two internationally recognised certificates in Maya and 3D studio Max.
        In 2008 Chris signed on at the animation studio 'Clockwork Zoo' as head of the backgrounds department and animator developing international shows such as Florries Dragons, Caillou, and Mr Bebe.
        In 2010 Chris left the Clockwork Zoo studios to focus on his fine art. He has exhibited his paintings in various group shows locally in South Africa while developing his own personal style.

        Selected Exhibitions:

        2015
        Solo exhibition Obsessed With Ourselves, StateoftheART, Cape Town

        2013

        Irma Stern Museum, Cape Town
        Salon 91, Cape Town
        The White House, Plettenberg Bay
        Pendock Wine Gallery, Cape Town
        Chandler House, Cape Town
        StateoftheART, Cape Town

        2012

        Studio 41 Cape Town

        2011
        Studio 41 Cape Town

        2010
        San Remo, Cape Town

        2006
        Cafe Mozart, Cape Town



    • Interview
      • Which new trends or South African artists do you find inspiring at the moment?
        Trends: I'm Really enjoying watching the growth of South Africa’s urban black art and social realism. Contemporary art emerging from South Africa is exciting in its breadth and expression. Any creative works to come from a nation with such a unique and varied history deserves unrestrained attention.
        Inspirational Artists: Erik Laubscher, Walter Battiss, Jane Alexander, Stanley Pinker and Robert Hodgins.
        Younger artist: Lionel Smit, Claudette Schreuders, Matthew Hendley, Kudzanai Chiurai, Kemang Wa Lehulere, Rowan Smith, Ian Grose, Georgina Gratrix and Anathi Tyawa.

        Which South African deceased artist do you most admire and why?

        Jacobus Hendrik Pierneef. When it comes to art he has played a part in my life so many times. His work effects me at a primal level where colour, composition and brush work always inspire. Just the amount of work he made is astonishing but his methods where before his time.

        Which exhibition that you have visited made the greatest impact on you and why?

        The Royal Academy of Arts London Summer Exhibition 2012, which consists of a large collection of all types of art from hundreds of different artists, is the first exhibition that pops into mind. I suppose coming from Cape Town to London I didn’t know what to expect but the work exhibited there in general inspired me. There was such a variety of work there it would be difficult to explain how it inspired me but maybe it was the huge variety in its self that served to inspire. I loved it and will never forget it.

        Where do you get your inspiration for your work?

        Reading, Drawings/Scetches I make, talking to friends and being with other artist. Every day people and strangers inspired me too. Every one is different and I love to capture their story through paint. I enjoy dark humor, oddities and laughing.

        Do you have any rituals or habits involving your art-making that you can tell us about?

        Before each painting I tell myself something I read  from a  fellow artists studio wall: 'Confidence with every stroke'. It stuck with me and when I implement this idea while painting it really heightens the quality of my work.

        What do you like most about being an artist?

        When I finish a work and I know its good. Thats when I get an incredible sense of accomplishment and joy. It might sound corny but its truly a brilliant feeling. This can work in reverse which is fairly upsetting.

        How do you handle bad days when you experience artist's block?

        A friend quite simply told me: “If your not feeling a desire to do a certain project then don’t just sit there staring at it, do something else”. If your keeping busy your moving forward. That’s what I always do.

        What is your greatest achievement as an artist to date?

        Three years ago I lost Art. Its a long story but I can safely say now that my greatest achievement so far is finding it again. I realized this was an achievement when I read 'The Daily Practice of Painting' by Gerhard Richter. I cant find the quote but it went something like this: Religion and Art are alike; you only know faith if you have lost it like you only know art if you have lost it too.

        Do you feel that you want to make a difference to the world or in people's lives? If yes, how?

        I would like to say that that is not important, that making art for yourself is that prime objective but I do have a primal desire to enthrall the viewer and I do think art is a need to communicate, a need to put down images that tell a story.

        What are your plans for the coming year?
        Art is a journey, as they say, and I plan to take it step by step. My goals for the next 12 months are to be apart of any and all art related matters I can find. Id like to expand my level of participation in well received group shows with a mind to a solo show. Just as long as my work evolves at a possitive and productive level then I know I'm doing the right thing.


  • Rosenblum Green - Painting by Chris Denovan CHRIS DENOVAN
    Rosenblum Green
    Painting / 120 x 120 cm
    $2 563
  • Execution (Michaelangelo Scott) - Painting by Chris Denovan CHRIS DENOVAN
    Execution (Michaelangelo Scott)
    Painting / 60 x 180 cm
    $1 857
  • Echo Of My Sister - Painting by Chris Denovan CHRIS DENOVAN
    Echo Of My Sister
    Painting / 120 x 125 cm
    $3 342
  •  Tschaeni Koh - Painting by Chris Denovan
    CHRIS DENOVAN
    Tschaeni Koh
    Painting / 120 x 120 cm
  • Bind - Painting by Chris Denovan
    CHRIS DENOVAN
    Bind
    Painting / 80 x 80 cm
  • Progeny - Painting by Chris Denovan
    CHRIS DENOVAN
    Progeny
    Painting / 60 x 60 cm
  • Bianca Mavuso - Painting by Chris Denovan
    CHRIS DENOVAN
    Bianca Mavuso
    Painting / 169 x 108 cm
  • Burgeon II - Painting by Chris Denovan
    CHRIS DENOVAN
    Burgeon II
    Painting / 120 x 120 cm
  • Burgeon III - Painting by Chris Denovan
    CHRIS DENOVAN
    Burgeon III
    Painting / 120 x 120 cm
  • Burgeon I - Painting by Chris Denovan
    CHRIS DENOVAN
    Burgeon I
    Painting / 120 x 120 cm
  • Portrait of Janelle - Large Portrait Painting by Chris Denovan
    CHRIS DENOVAN
    Portrait of Janelle
    Large Portrait Painting / 120 x 130 cm
  • Portrait of Safia - Large Portrait Painting by Chris Denovan
    CHRIS DENOVAN
    Portrait of Safia
    Large Portrait Painting / 120 x 130 cm
  • Portrait of Vivienne - Painting by Chris Denovan
    CHRIS DENOVAN
    Portrait of Vivienne
    Painting / 120 x 130 cm
  • Portrait of Maya (Triptych) - Extra Large Oil Painting by Chris Denovan
    CHRIS DENOVAN
    Portrait of Maya (Triptych)
    Extra Large Oil Painting / 130 x 260 cm
  • This Belongs To Me - Extra Large Oil Painting by Chris Denovan
    CHRIS DENOVAN
    This Belongs To Me
    Extra Large Oil Painting / 116 x 180 cm
  • Licence To Stare - Large Mixed Media Painting by Chris Denovan
    CHRIS DENOVAN
    Licence To Stare
    Large Mixed Media Painting / 124 x 189 cm
  • Portrait of Ishi - Large Portrait Painting by Chris Denovan
    CHRIS DENOVAN
    Portrait of Ishi
    Large Portrait Painting / 130 x 130 cm
  • Mirrored (Triptych) - Extra Large Oil Painting by Chris Denovan
    CHRIS DENOVAN
    Mirrored (Triptych)
    Extra Large Oil Painting / 130 x 276 cm
  • Follower - Extra Large Oil Painting by Chris Denovan
    CHRIS DENOVAN
    Follower
    Extra Large Oil Painting / 116 x 180 cm
  • Eternal Life - Large Oil Painting by Chris Denovan
    CHRIS DENOVAN
    Eternal Life
    Large Oil Painting / 130 x 130 cm
  • Portrait of Damara - Painting by Chris Denovan
    CHRIS DENOVAN
    Portrait of Damara
    Painting / 130 x 130 cm
  • Kouros (Triptych) - Mixed Media Painting by Chris Denovan
    CHRIS DENOVAN
    Kouros (Triptych)
    Mixed Media Painting / 88 x 174 cm
  • The Shallows - Painting by Chris Denovan
    CHRIS DENOVAN
    The Shallows
    Painting / 58 x 88 cm
  • White Shorts - Painting by Chris Denovan
    CHRIS DENOVAN
    White Shorts
    Painting / 58 x 88 cm
  • Chartreuse - Painting by Chris Denovan
    CHRIS DENOVAN
    Chartreuse
    Painting / 49 x 40 cm
  • Decameron (Triptych) - Painting by Chris Denovan
    CHRIS DENOVAN
    Decameron (Triptych)
    Painting / 106 x 53 cm
  • Leila A - Painting by Chris Denovan
    CHRIS DENOVAN
    Leila A
    Painting / 109 x 94 cm