African Art Decor│Artist Diane Victor

African Art Decor│Artist Diane Victor 1
© Fall-out Man Diane Victor
African Art Decor│Artist Diane Victor 2
© Diane Victor

In 1988, Victor became the youngest recipient of the prestigious Volkskas Atelier Award (now known as the Absa L'Atelier Award) which allowed her to experience the European art scene in France, England and Germany. The historical art and architecture had a huge visual impact on her art. But Victor always chose to stick with the imagery she knows and feels, that of the South African society.

African Art Decor│Artist Diane Victor 3
© Diane Victor
Victor is known for her provocative image which tends to get interpreted in the wrong way or evoke anger in the viewer. But Victor states that she wants her works to entice people out of their comfort zones and make them think about the things that upset them “She does not water down taboo content under ‘safe’ visual schemata for the sake of being more palatable or marketable,” writes Catherine Green, a writer for Art South Africa.
African Art Decor│Artist Diane Victor 4
© Diane Victor

Looking beyond the intense emotive qualities of Victor's work, what remains a constant is the capacity of her style. Whether rendering her subjects in charcoal, or undertaking conceptually challenging embossing, Victor shows an accomplished skill and a meticulous sense for detail. She researches her ideas thoroughly and is able to communicate and express the emotional value of her works.

African Art Decor│Artist Diane Victor 5
© Extinguished Rhino II Diane Victor

Diane Victor is an artist of uncompromising directness but with a strange quietness in her nature who tackles pressing issues - personal and social violence to racial anxiety, corruption, gender inequality, economic exploitation and social commentary. Despite the criticism she has received over her career, she has become a renowned South African artist and printmaker. Her works have been used in high school curriculums and she has won numerous awards. She has exhibited widely within South Africa and overseas and her work can be seen in leading South African corporate, state and private collections as well as in international collections including the Museum of Modern Art in New York. 

African Art Decor│Artist Diane Victor 6
© Diane Victor
Victor and her work is both paradox and dichotomy. One senses that she would be happy never to see or hear humans again and yet she is a dedicated university lecturer, teaching drawing and printmaking, at various South African institutions including the University of Pretoria, Tshwane University of Technology, Open Window Academy, the University of the Witwatersrand, Rhodes University and the University of Johannesburg. There is no doubting the immeasurable impact of her style and her personality on her students. Victor says teaching allows her to experience different headspaces from an era that is not her own.
African Art Decor│Artist Diane Victor 7
© Diane Victor
Victor’s recent smoke drawings are a temperament shift her more heavy work of the late 1980s but she still expresses hatred towards civilisation and states that society has become domesticated and people have retreated into themselves to avoid reality. “I want to reinforce a response, preferably anger, not necessarily at me but at society,” she states. The smoke and ash drawings, sketched using smoke on paper or glass, explore subjects often overlooked and emphasises her interest in the fragility of human life and the damaging physical and psychological interactions between people that she wishes to record.
African Art Decor│Artist Diane Victor 8
© Diane Victor
The technique is in itself very fragile and a mere moth could ruin the drawing with its curiosity. “The people are seduced by the technical aspect of the work and in that way it lures the viewer in to look what the image is about.” states Victor. The black and white portraits of men and horses seem fragile in their nature but when one looks closer; the intensity of emotion is beautifully captured in its dust and sud.
African Art Decor│Artist Diane Victor 9
© Diane Victor

Excerpts taken from;  Marilyn de Freitas – To view more art by Diane Victor and read the article in its entirety, follow this link https://www.art.co.za/dianevictor/

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