South African visual artist Johan Alberts

Johan Alberts

South Africa | 5 artworks for sale

  • Adah & Baako - Painting by Johan Alberts Adah & Baako
    Painting / 102 x 102 cm
    R24 000
  • Halima - Painting by Johan Alberts Halima
    Painting / 47 x 63 cm
    R12 750
  • Jendayi - Painting by Johan Alberts Jendayi
    Painting / 47 x 63 cm
    R12 750
  • Abeo In Red Armchair - Painting by Johan Alberts Abeo In Red Armchair
    Painting / 76 x 76 cm
    R18 000
  • Nneka - Painting by Johan Alberts Nneka
    Painting / 102 x 92 cm
    R25 000
  • Portrait of Dayo - Painting by Johan Alberts
    Portrait of Dayo
    Painting / 47 x 63 cm
  • Maizah Marie Therese - Painting by Johan Alberts
    Maizah Marie Therese
    Painting / 102 x 102 cm
In my recent collection of paintings in acrylic and oil paint I consciously shine a spotlight on prejudices to promote unity through altering and reworking familiar and famous artworks. The significant twist is the addition of African portraiture into the mostly Eurocentric images.

Johan Alberts was born in Pretoria, South Africa in 1976. He studied Theatre Crafts at the Technikon Pretoria and graduated with a Master’s Degree in Entertainment Technology from the Tshwane University of Technology, adding research to the field of Scenic Design. Johan was a lecturer in Scenic Painting and Design at the Tshwane University of Technology for 12 years as well as the art facilitator for the YAP (Young Artists Programme) at The JamJar in Dubai in 2018. After his return to South Africa from the UAE in 2019, Johan has been focusing all his attention on creating art.

Johan has had numerous solo and group art exhibitions in South Africa and has exhibited in The Netherlands, Kenya and the United Arab Emirates. His paintings grace the walls of some of the most stylish homes and restaurants in South Africa, Singapore, USA, Canada, Kenya, Australia, United Arab Emirates and The Netherlands.

Selected Exhibitions

solo exhibition 'Homogenised' - Ink Box Gallery, Kalk Bay

Which artists, books or music have inspired your work?
ART: I am a Renaissance fanatic. Botticelli, Da Vinci, Michelangelo and Titian… to name just a few. Also in love with Ophelia by John Everett Millais. In fact, there are far too many to name…
BOOKS: ‘Life of Pi’ by Yan Martel and ‘What’s Eating Gilbert Grape’ by Peter Hedges, both of which were brilliantly adapted into great movies. I have a thing for adaptations.  My Master’s Degree dissertation revolved around stage to film adaptations.
MUSIC: From Leonard Cohen, Dolly Parton and Post Malone and Miley as well as everything in between.  I am also a sucker for a good cover version of a song.
I think me adapting famous artworks has been in the cards for a while.

Which South African deceased artist do you most admire and why?
Without a doubt Vladimir Tretchikoff.

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?
If it’s not ‘Ophelia’ by Millais, I will settle for Sandro Botticelli’s ‘Primavera’. I have made the pilgrimage to the Uffizi Gallery in Florence twice to start the negotiations. What a dream!

Pick three artists who you would be honored to exhibit with – and why
Three different artist with different genre’s. Sculptures and installations by Mary Sibande, Digital art by Ruan Jooste and Photography by Justin Andrew Dingwall
I think the narrative in our work is definitely of similar nature. Would be an awesome exhibition.

How did you get started? Did you always want to be an artist?
I have always been a creative. Books, puzzles, painting and drawing was part of my daily routine growing up. Art was a favorite subject in High School and led me to study Theatre Crafts as a student. I specialized in Scenic Painting and Stage Properties. Painting has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. There was a brief moment that I wanted to become a Marine Biologist, but studying was definitely not as much fun as painting. I cannot see myself doing anything but ART.

What are some of the key themes you explore in your work?
Differences and similarities in ethnicity, culture, religion, and a variety of other themes are being explored. Commentary is given on emancipation, strength, immortality, beauty, and pain with the ultimate goal of inclusion.  

What should people know about your art that they can’t tell from looking at it?
A lot of love and passion has gone into the recreation and reworking of my artwork

What are the most essential items in your studio and why?
Music, my blackboard for notes and lists as well good lighting

Do you believe an artist should use their platform to influence society? Why?
Yes. For as long as I can remember the main aim/focus of my art is to be visually pleasing. To influence society by the social commentary of my HOMOGENISE series is an honor and a privilege. Even if it only makes a person smile or think I have succeeded.

Do you have a favourite or most meaningful work?
This must be like asking a mother to choose her favorite child. But if I have to choose a favorite from my recent collection it would have to be ‘Lulu-Griet, Girl with the mismatched earrings’ (after Vermeer).
What is your greatest achievement as an artist to date?
Finding a theme, concept and style in my art that people relate to. I received the following commentary recently after my solo exhibition ‘HOMOGENISE’ in Kalk bay.
“I was utterly captivated by what I was seeing. Here were some of the greatest artworks of our time but with a significant twist. Culture meets questions, diversity, and the concept of what it is for art to be a homogenous; representative of culture was staring me in the face. I was speechless.” –M Baird

What are your aspirations for the future?
To keep on producing art that starts conversations and nourishes the soul. I would also love to travel some more, perhaps an artist residency abroad