Artist Biography

Sculptor Johan Steyn grew up in an Art studio (Louis Steyn Batik artist) and did an apprenticeship at the SA Mint under some artists and craftsmen. He then became a professional sculptor for the SA Mint for 13 years Later he did courses with various artists and sculptors. Johan says : As for sculpture, I get visions or see images. Some come and go but some reappear. I will draw or sketch them.

They will take form. I may draw them out on paper or paint them on canvass. Then I will make an armature and start with clay and compose the sculpture. I am very impatient in this phase and work fast in order not to lose the image. In some cases I will use live models or refer to work I did in the past in order to be technically accurate if I feel it is required.

During this phase I take note of all the elements ranging from proportion, harmony, repetition, order, chaos, contrast, but most importantly flow. Final finishes and then to the foundry. Johan is inspired by Nature, Human mind, body and spirit and the afterlife, spiritual and metaphysical world. His exclusive series “Minki and the Sunbird’ and “Minki and the Starfish” is a collaboration project between Art@Africa and the artist. It includes the whole theme of Minki and Animals of some sorts. Johan states : “ I see my art as truly original South African art and themes like the Minki series is a true South African legend.

You will not find many true South African stories in art like the Minki story and she is in fact more Contemporary than people may think. She addresses everything from Marine conservation, Nature conservation, possibly global warming to pollution of all sorts.

My art truly comes from deep within. I do not know of any other work that is like my work, so I would like to say it is unique in many ways. Therefore, I see my work as a fresh contribution that will compliment most existing collections.



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