FynArts: Floris van Zyl

FynArts: Floris van Zyl

I’m always looking for different art – something out of the ordinary, and it doesn’t matter what medium it is, it’s the uniqueness that has me intrigued. At the FynArts Festival 2019, I found it Floris van Zyl’s work being exhibited at Benguela Cove.

Both in the main restaurant and lounging area, large, bright portraits hung under the banner ‘Animalia’. ‘The series of work explores our animal side, our instincts, our fears and our survival in shared environments. It also explores how we are connected as beings on higher levels through symbolism and techniques.’

Floris’ expressionistic technique as well as his unusual bold palette of colours created a CA-POW moment as soon as you stepped inside the room. The paintings are big and imposing, beautifully rendered … and entertaining.

‘One of the themes in Van Zyl’s work is to take things apart: to take realism and make it abstract by using a palette knife, to extend the paint beyond the boundaries of the form we know.’ One can definitely see this technique in all the portraits above (and below) as well as in the ‘cover photo’ of males nudes to profile this blog.

Floris manages to capture not only the look, but more importantly the personality of his subject and that’s quite a feat. Not many portrait artists can do that. There is something very evocative and emotive about his style. It might just be my own imagination at play, but I can almost ‘see’ Floris at work: loud opera or jazz playing in the background while he moves his whole body, to the music as he applies paint in dance-like moves in front of his easel – dramatic, determined and confident.

I was very excited to see these portraits. They hang in a very beautifully designed building, with lots of windows and light at Benguela Cove, just before Hermanus. The blue hues of the lagoon and stark interior walls were a perfect choice to offset the colours in the paintings. Both the venue and the art are well worth a visit. Make a date as soon as you can. You won’t be disappointed.

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  • “It’s one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it’s quite another thing to make a portrait of who they are.” – Paul Caponigro

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NOTE: We would like to state that we are not professional art critics! We, love all kinds of art and we love to share our experiences, picks and preferences and make comments on them.

Text in italics above, comes straight off Floris’ personal bio at the exhibition.

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