South African visual artist Tiffany Onderstall

Tiffany Onderstall

South Africa | 5 artworks for sale

  • Monstera In Woodstock - Painting by Tiffany Onderstall Monstera In Woodstock
    Painting / 46 x 66 cm
    R6 700
  • Home Is Where Your Plants Are - Painting by Tiffany Onderstall Home Is Where Your Plants Are
    Painting / 32 x 44 cm
    R4 850
  • Spice House - Painting by Tiffany Onderstall Spice House
    Painting / 32 x 44 cm
    R4 850
  • Folha - Painting by Tiffany Onderstall Folha
    Painting / 32 x 44 cm
    R4 850
  • Greenhouse At Home - Painting by Tiffany Onderstall Greenhouse At Home
    Painting / 32 x 44 cm
    R4 850
  • Living In Gardens - Painting by Tiffany Onderstall
    Living In Gardens
    Painting / 22 x 32 cm
I play around with mediums, concepts and styles to push my own boundaries. I may not know exactly where the final destination is, but the journey itself has been astounding. To me, art can be much more than just an aesthetic to please the observer. The message carried across in my work is unique to each individual. And as an anonymous graffiti artist in Cape Town, South Africa, once stated "art is a weapon of peace".

My current collection called Hue/Saturation explores the concept of how we as individuals uniquely perceive the colours in our world.

When I was young, I used to wonder if we all see colours the same. Our eyes pick up light and transfer the gathered ‘data’ to our brain to process and create the image we see. But how do we know if we all interpret this data in the same way? My definition of Green might just be your Purple for all we know.

This memory inspired me to compile a collection of Oil paintings to carry the message across of what someone else’s world might look like, unique to the eye of the beholder.

Tiffany Onderstall (b.1996) is an interior designer and artist based in Cape Town, South Africa. In 2015 she won silver at the Adobe Graphic design World Championships held in Texas, USA. The artist has studied painting under Tracy Payne (2015- 2018) and etching techniques with Judy Woodborne (2018/2019).
Tiffany's passion for art is mult-faceted: you'll find her jazz drumming at venues around Cape Town.

Selected Exhibitions:
2021
Group exhibition: Overcoming, at NOW Gallery

2019
Group exhibition: Echoes of Sophiatown at Youngblood, Cape Town
Intaglio studio exhibition
AVA - Membership exhibition

2018
AVA - Membership exhibition

Awards:
Rust en Vrede - Portrait award Top 100 2019

Which artists, books or music have inspired your work?
Music means a lot to me as an artist; especially South African jazz music since I started playing jazz drums at the age of 15. I often feel that great music can spark a visual image in your mind, and I always listen to it while I paint. Musicians like Mabuta, The Unity band, Rebel big band, Kyle Sheperd and Kunjenga are some of the artists I enjoy.

Which South African deceased artist do you most admire and why?
I’d say Robert Hodgins for showing that it’s possible to pursuit art as a full focus career at any point in time. And his beautiful use of colour to show emotions.

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?
Oda Tungodden’s oil painting called “Playing for no one but the jungle”. I think it sums me up perfectly. A jazz musician enjoying their artistic expression while there is no one else around them other than an abundance of plants.

Pick three artists who you would be honored to exhibit with – and why
Tracy Payne - she is a good friend of mine who has made incredibly striking artworks throughout her life. She has ranged from incredible realistic portraits to large scale abstracts and her courage to do so I admire. Marco Grassi – an Italian artist whose hyper realism looks clearer than a photo. His patience and commitment to create such artworks I admire. Oda Tungodden – her beautiful use of colour inspired me to go beyond my realism comfort zone and create artworks that may look different to our everyday world.  

How did you get started? Did you always want to be an artist?
I started attending art classes when I was 6 years old. It was thanks to my pre-primary schoolteacher who told my mom to take me to attend art classes. And ever since then I have been painting nonstop.

What are some of the key themes you explore in your work?
My current collection is exploring the concept of how we see colours in our world.  When I was young I used to wonder if we all see colours the same. Our eyes pick up light and transfer the gathered ‘data’ to our brain to process and create the image we see. But how do we know if we all process it the same way? My definition of Green might just be your Purple for all we know.
This memory inspired me to compile a collection of Oil paintings to carry the message across of what someone else’s world might look like, unique to the eye of the beholder.

What should people know about your art that they can’t tell from looking at it?
These oil paintings have a reductive monotype influence in them where I ‘lift up’ paint with an earbud or clean paintbrush to create the striking highlights. That is a nice benefit about painting on MDF wood as I feel the canvas’s texture always holds some pigment back, whereas the MDF is incredibly smooth. You can go straight back to pure white after you painted it purple yesterday.

What are the most essential items in your studio and why?
My Oil paint and brushes of course, as it’s what I use to create the art. And alongside that some freshly ground coffee and jazz music.

Tell us more about your creative process.
Challenging myself is something I enjoy the most about a creative process. This helps me to grow as an artist by broadening my skillset and developing my identity as an artist. I do think it will always grow and evolve over time, as life is more of a journey than a single destination I believe.

Do you believe an artist should use their platform to influence society? Why?
Yes, I do think so. It is a peaceful and striking way to provoke thoughts in human beings. I remember seeing a graffiti piece on UCT campus once that said, “Art is a peaceful weapon”, and it stuck with me ever since then. If your artwork can make someone stop in their tracks and rethink their way of looking at a certain topic then I would say it’s an excellent work of art.

Do you have a favourite or most meaningful work?
I do, but it changes over time. Currently it’s my oil painting called “Home is where your plants are”, as it is my home filled with all my indoor plants.

What is your greatest achievement as an artist to date?
I would say being selected as part of the top 100 artists in the portrait award two years ago and being part of the “overcoming” exhibition in 2021 that was raising funds to fight gender-based violence in SA.

What are your aspirations for the future?
To find a balance I would say. In many ways. Balancing my love for classic realism and a more modern contemporary style; finding balance between having art as my career and my passion; and finding a balance in using the time we have in our lives to achieve the best of our ability without overlooking the small things we can enjoy every day.