Corné Eksteen

Corné Eksteen

South Africa | 7 artworks for sale

My current body of work consists of portraits, figure studies and still lives.

Utilising a distinctive approach to these artistic traditions, works visually explore themes relating to the deconstruction and fragmentation of identity in the wake of unprecedented technological advances and social turmoil. Through a process of drawing on conventions of figurative, abstract and pattern painting, the works attempt to visually dissect, deconstruct and reconstruct the subject matter in the pursuit of an understanding of the dynamics and transient nature of the 21st century psyche.

They are intended to evoke discussion on the idea of personal identity as a series of disjointed concepts in a perpetual state of flux and the continues search for a distinction between truth and perception.

Eksteen (also known as XTN) was born at Zastron, South Africa on October 6, 1973. He studied towards a BA in Fine Art at the University of Pretoria and UNISA (Not completed).

He spent several years working in related fields from Menswear Designer to various positions in the Interior Decorating and Digital Design Industries. As a Visual Artist Eksteen has been actively working and exhibiting since 1996. Taking part in numerous group and two person exhibitions on an International level. He has reached the finals of prestigious art competitions such as the ABSA Atelier Competition. His work is currently included in several private collections across the world as far afield as Germany, Sweden and the USA.

Solo exhibitions:

"Nexus" | StateoftheART Gallery - Cape Town, South Africa

"Otherness" | StateoftheART Gallery - Cape Town, South Africa
"Anomaly" | artSPACE Durban - Durban, South Africa
"Portraits" | RESTOCK Gallery - Funchel, Portugal

“Assimilation" | artSPACE - Durban, South Africa

"Disintegration" | artSPACE - Durban, South Africa

"Inferno" | Temporary gallery in warehouse - Bloemfontein, South Africa

"Skin" | Temporary gallery in warehouse - Woodstock, South Africa

Group Exhibitions:


ART Innsbruck | ARTsouthAFRICA | Innsbruck | Austria | January 2020
Art from South Africa / LHM | ARTsouthAFRICA | Crailsheim | Germany | January - April 2020
Same bed different dream | Eye 4 Art Gallery | La Lucia | South Africa | February 2020
The Grand 5 | Rust-en-Vrede Gallery | Durbanville | South Africa | May 2020
Against All Odds | TTAG | Berlin | Germany | June - July 2020
KunstSommer im KPM-Quartier | The Travelling Art Gallery | KPM Quartier | Berlin | Germany | August / September 2020
Emotion | The Showroom Art Gallery | Pretoria | South Africa | August / September 2020

Life is a portrait | RESTOCK GALLERY | Funchel | Portugal | January - March 2019
UMHLABA / LAND | KZNSA | Durban | South Africa | March / April 2019
KKNK | The Showroom Art Gallery | Oudtshoorn | South Africa | March 2019
Palate, Plate, Palette | Rust-en-Vrede Gallery | Durbanville | South Africa | April - May 2019
ARTMUC 2019 | ARTsouthAFRICA | Isarforum | Munich | Germany | May 2019
VryFees 2019 | The Showroom Art Gallery | Bloemfontein | South Africa | July 2019
TTAG2019 | The Travelling Art Gallery TTAG2019 | Munich | Germany | July 2019
Passage | Two Person Exhibition (with Nicole Pletts) | Rossouw Modern | Hermanus | South Africa | October 2019

Disruption | KZNSA Gallery | Durban | South Africa | January 2018
KKNK | The Showroom Art Gallery | Outshoorn | South Africa | March / April 2018
New Dawn | Eclectica Design and Art | Cape Town | South Africa | June - August 2018
The Art of Pairing | COMMUNITY | Durban | South Africa | June 2018
Aardklop | The Showroom Art Gallery | Potchefstroom | South Africa | October 2018
Night of a 1000 drawings | Rossouw Modern | Hermanus | South Africa | December 2018

Forward - The Breathing Space | Durban | South Africa | May 2017
The universe next door | Fynarts 2017 - Rossouw Modern | Hermanus | South Africa | June 2017
Vryfees 2017 - The Showroom Art Gallery | Bloemfontein | South Africa | July 2017
Figures & Faces | The Showroon Art Gallery | Pretoria | South Africa | September 2017
Inspiration Tables 2017 | Rossouw Modern | Windhoek | Namibia | September 2017
Aardklop Arts Festival | The Showroom Art Gallery | Potchefstroom | South Africa | October 2017
South African Art | RESTOCK | Funchal | Portugal | October 2017
BuzzArt 2017 | KZNSA Gallery | Durban | South Africa | November 2017
SPACE | Rossouw Modern | Hermanus | South Africa | December 2017

Invisible - KZNSA | Durban | South Africa
Show 3 - Loading Bay Gallery | Durban | South Africa
Beneath the skin - State of the Art Gallery | Cape Town | South Africa
Show 5 - Loading Bay Gallery | Durban | South Africa

Inspirations VI: Durban Yesterday, Now and Tomorrow - artSPACE durban | Durban | South Africa | July 2015
artSPACE Durban Artists Choice Awards 2015 - artSPACE durban | Durban | South Africa | June 2015
Transformation, Incubation, Activation - KZNSA | Durban | South Africa | January / February 2015

Transmutation - Karoo 1 Gallery | De Doorns | South Africa | October / November 2014
artSPACE Durban Artists’ Choice Awards 2014 - artSPACE durban | Durban | South Africa | July 2014
Grassroots - KZNSA | Durban | South Africa | January 2014

Rebirth - Living Life Shed | Ladybrand | South Africa | October 2013

Contemporary Free State - Johanness Stegmann Gallery | Bloemfontein | South Africa | June 2011

Modern Free State - Johanness Stegmann Gallery | Bloemfontein | South Africa | June 2010

Art from the Eastern Free State - The Cabin | Clocolan | South Africa | July 2008
Running Exhibition - Mocca Chino's | Ladybrand | South Africa
Art of Africa - Temporary Pop-Up Gallery | Maseru | Lesotho | September 2008
Naive - Uber arte | Berlin | Germany | February 2008

Seascapes - Gallery on the bay | Gordon's Bay | South Africa | November 2004

Vespertine - Pop-up Gallery | Ladybrand | South Africa | April 2003
Travelog - Gallery on the bay | Gordon's Bay | South Africa | August 2003
Travelog - CoJo's | Muizenberg | South Africa | November 2003

Group 9 - Art Bizarre | Somerset-West | South Africa | December 2002

Washed - Basotho Hat | Maseru | Lesotho | April 2001

ABSA L’ Atelier 2000 - (Provincial Finalist) Johannes Stegmann Gallery | Bloemfontein | South Africa | March 2000
Versus - The Basotho Hat | Maseru | Lesotho | October 2000

ABSA L’ Atelier 1999 - (Provincial Finalist) Pretoria Art Association | Pretoria | South Africa | March 1999
ABSA L’ Atelier 1999 - (National Finalist) African Window Museum | Pretoria | South Africa | August 1999

Volkskas Atelier - (Provincial Finalist) Johannes Stegmann Gallery | Bloemfontein | South Africa | March 1998
Volkskas Atelier - (National Finalist) Pietersburg Art Museum | Pietersburg | South Africa | August 1998
Spiritualized - Ladybrand Library Hall | Ladybrand | South Africa | December 1998

Volkskas Atelier - (Provincial Finalist) Johannes Stegmann Gallery | Bloemfontein | South Africa | March 1997
Bowie Outside - Precinct Gallery | Johannesburg | South Africa | August 1997

New South African Art - South African High Commission | Maseru | Lesotho | September 1996

Which new trends or South African artists do you find inspiring at the moment?
I’m very excited about the rise of Contemporary African Art on the global art scene. There is so much exciting and groundbreaking work coming from the continent, not only presenting the continent to the world in fresh new visual ways, but also propelling previously overlooked artists and art communities to center stage as the new leaders and innovators in the art world.

Which South African deceased artist do you most admire and why?
Andrew Verster. Apart from loving his entire body of work spanning 5 decades, I had the pleasure of getting to know Andrew before his passing in early 2020. His natural tendency to reinvent his visual language several times throughout his career and in later years, his ability to reference his own oeuvre in new work is inspiring. Over the last few months my work has come to increasingly incorporate pattern as one of my primary motifs, something that Andrew used masterfully in his work, as such I have a revived interest in his work and techniques.

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?
?This changes very often, but for the last year I’ve been obsessed with the piece “Initiation” by Polish painter, animator and muralist Robert Proch. I had been watching his work develop with great intrigue and fascination for several years, until his sudden death at age 33 in July 2019. This specific work was directly referenced in several of my own pieces during the spring of 2019 as an acknowledgment to his brilliance and influence.

Pick three artists who you would be honored to exhibit with – and why
MJ Lourens, Wim Botha and Frikkie Eksteen.
Although I hold them all in the highest regard as artists and adore their work, this list might be more sentimental in nature. We have a shared experience, having all studied at the same institution at the same time. Something magical was brooding at the University of Pretoria Visual Arts Department in the early 1990’s. Many of our most formative experiences on our creative journeys were at the hand of the same lecturers at the same time. It would make for an intriguing exhibition.

How did you get started? Did you always want to be an artist?
I think I was born an artist, it’s my default setting, much to the annoyance of many people along the way. My parents hoped for a Chartered Accountant and my grand parents saw me as a Pastor, alas it was always going to be some sort of creative path. ?There’s been many little detours into other creative industries from clothing designer, graphic designer to web designer, but I could never get rid of the oil and turpentine in my blood.

What are some of the key themes you explore in your work?
For the larger part of my career I’ve been exploring the concept of identity through my work. How the sense of self interacts with gender, orientation, religion and society as a whole. In recent years there’s been a shift, which I think is becoming even more prevalent in my new work. The new focus is more on perception, how we process sensory information and to what degree we rely on information to make sense of ourselves and the world. It’s the age-old adage of who are we, what are we doing here, why are we here with the added complications of algorithms, social media and tons of other white noise interferences.
What should people know about your art that they can’t tell from looking at it?
You’re not looking at the answer – you’re looking at the question! My works are more conceptual as opposed to mere documentation or storytelling. They are by the nature of their construction more metaphorical and sometimes even allegorical.

Tell us more about your creative process.
This is something that changes often. Every time I embark on a new body of work, my process gets adjusted to suit the concept or look of the work best. It can be as small a change as a new primary pigment selection, or a complete overhaul of the studio and how the workflow is structured.

Currently creating a painting starts with reference photos taken in the studio or on site. I print out the image and cut it up in vertical strips, like the effect a paper shredder would have on a photo. Some of these strips are then removed from the image leaving only sections of the original image behind. This fractured image is then scanned and printed out in various formats, full colour, black and white etc. They are stuck on the wall surrounding the canvas and each serve as a reference in some way, be it tone, hue or temperature for a certain part or motif in the image.  The final reference photo thus only contains sections of the original image, it is roughly drawn on the canvas and once the painting process starts each omitted vertical strip is painted in as a mirror image of the previous strip. It’s a complex process of reproducing the visible strip in the reference photo and creating a mirror image of it, while maintaining a visual continuation with the following strip in the image. Parts of the image will get changed or broken down to mere pattern, for which I often source wrapping paper, op-art or wallpaper as inspiration. Work is mostly done alla prima with little or no changes or additional layers at a later stage.

Do you believe an artist should use their platform to influence society? Why?
No. It would imply that artists are somehow on a higher moral ground, or that we have the answers to society’s problems, when we do not. I have no delusions about what I do: I spend 12 to 16 hours a day making pictures, this does not qualify me to solve the world’s problems. A Contemporary artist’s job is more about asking the right questions and promoting critical thinking and triggering debate and conversation on the problems facing our civilization.
Do you have a favourite or most meaningful work?
There’s been many movements or phases in my work over the years and I have a favourite from each of those phases. They normally represent the moment when the series or phase reached its resolution and I started to explore new modes of expression.

What is your greatest achievement as an artist to date?
That I still love what I do! Everyday is a small victory. I’m just taking delight in every day that grants me the opportunity to live my dream.

What are your aspirations for the future?
To make my practice more sustainable by cutting down on wastage and working towards using materials that has a more ethical and environmentally friendly supply chain. Generally growing my practice and taking part in more exhibitions. I am aiming for opportunities and representation in the Northern hemisphere.