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Nikodemis (Niko van Rensburg) was born 23 September 1967 in Hillbrow, Jo'burg. Brought up by his creative parents, artist dad (Nico van Rensburg) and inspiring mom Annetjie.
Nikodemis's art is about breathing: in-spiring and exhaling love and color akin to channeling energy. It also manifests in eco sculpture, combining found materials and discarded exotics.
He paints and sculpts free, abstract forms or 'afro-zen' in 2d and 3d, and more figurative 'afro-pop forms: African contemporary art with some spiritual jesting and an open heart.
Elephants on giant size canvases will take angels on their backs on safari through traditional colonial bushveld settings, painted in vivid rainbow nation colors. Or a waste piece of plastic drives itself into an old uprooted tree like and arm, with discarded spark plugs the fingers holding air plants like jewelry drapes in its palm.
His art combines postcard wildlife art and Sunday painting with serious Dadaistic humor and shamanistic visions of divine creation. A Zen buddhist touch builds on flat areas of Fauvist color, whilst quantum physics manifest in the loose brushstrokes of his action painting style or free flow where he just lets the medium go.
I don't choose color, color chooses me, he says about the color splashed desert scenes. Even black and white paintings, with angels practically carved from pigment, clay-like modeled in brushstrokes, sport the brilliance of primaries and secondary's shining through from underneath. The zany plastic waste colors do the same in the sculptural forms.
Nikodemi's art is about the moment, art that captures the energy of Africa, its textures and textiles, its incomparable beauty and its anarchic amounts of waste. His art is from and of humanity's birth place, our cradle and home. And it is itself, nothing else. No meaning, just making something beautiful from nothing, and letting its new form melt it back into no-thingness as it rusts and rots away, transforming and changing. Living. Life itself.
Nikodemis finds inspiration within, from where he humbly learns about life from nature and his wife, three children, two dogs, 2 horses, and farming nature's way. He runs a home school / learning center with his life partner, does project managing construction work, writes children's educational books and dabbles in music programming. He also does art workshops, e.g. skills training and product oriented outcomes art using waste materials.
He practices color meditation and no-thingness.
He lives in The Valley Of A Thousand Hills in Kwazulu-Natal. His other homes are The Wild Coast and Magaliesberg Mountains.
Work in private and corporate collections in SA: Johannesburg, Pretoria (Gauteng); Carolina (Mpumalanga), Cape Town, Hermanus (Western Cape); Mosselbay (Eastern Cape); Durban (Kwazulu-Natal). International: Wellington, Auckland (New Zealand); Amsterdam (Holland); Toronto (Canada); London (UK); Sidney (Australia).
1986: Open House Student Exhibition, Technikon Witwatersrand.
1992: Boom Paartie group exhibit & performance art show, JHB.
1992-94: Project Shift Waste Dwelling, Mpumalanga. Functional low cost dwellings and artefacts.
1994: Johannesburg Art Gallery - Jason Crystal's Tokoloshe Visual and performance art spectacle.
1994: Habitat, Newtown Gallery, JHB - Project Shift instalation.
1995: Trek na die Laager, Fringe, Africus Biennale in JHB - Multi-cultural, carnavalesque performance spectacle at opening; Opskop, Junk & Jive Rave, Africus Biennale - Co-facilitator etc. of multi-media event.
1996: Planet Claire Open House, JHB - Group exhibition.
1996-97: Mr. Stripe & Mnr. Streep, JHB - Street theatre spectacle act with Mark Odonovan of Odd Engineers.
1996: Spring Poetry, SABC 3 - Poetry commissioned by SABCTV.
1999: Gauloises Fishfinger - Workshop producing art work for auctioning with proceeds going to welfare.
1998-2000: Warner & Consorten plus Odd Engineers - Assistant coordinator of collaboration between Dutch spectacle theatre group and SA artists/performers in SA and Netherlands for KKNK.
2002: 1st Solo exhibition - paintings at E-centre, Cape Town; Moving Mountains - solo exhibit Gallery 38 Special, Cape Town; LandsCape/LandsKaap - Group show at E-centre, Cape Town.
2003: 1st Solo exhibition in JHB - Heartshapes and Mindscapes at Go-Ra Gallery, Parkhurst; Mindscapes - group exhibition at 3rd i Gallery, Cape Town.
2004: Colour my beloved country - Solo at Foxwood House, Houghton, JHB, 17 March-8 April; Koop en Kuier Party - house show with DJ Rupa Das & Chef Kev in Orange Grove, JHB, 15 May.
2005: Home is where the Art is - house exhibition at home studio/gallery in Gardens, JHB, 23 May; Group exhibition at Aurora Private School of art workshopped with grades 3-6.
2006: Group show at KKNK (Oudsthoorn Festival); Angel Offerings - house exhibition of recent paintings in Parkhurst, JHB, 23 April; POSITIVE - group exhibition at Sun City in aid of AIDS/HIV; Corporate commission art work for ARTiculate Solutions, JHB; Lilly Oncology On Canvas international group show in aid of cancer sufferers; Picnic Paintings - solo show at home studio, Gardens, JHB, 20 August; Solo show at Aardklop Nasionale Kunstefees, Potch, SA, 26-30 Sept; Journeys beyond ideas - solo show in Parkwood, Jhb, 26 Nov-15 Jan.
2007: Journeys beyond ideas II - solo show at Café Arté, Centurion, Pta, 17-29 Jan; Journeys beyond ideas III - solo show at Hannah's Enterprises, Botha's Hill, Kzn; Collaboration with Twiice International, Jhb, 3 May-28 May; Nominated under TOP 100 for Ekurhuleni Arts Awards 2007; Dada Dancing at The Gallery/Yapanis in Randburg from 5 - 27 October; Contemporary Visions of Southern Africa, 2 Nov-22 Dec, Pretoria Art Museum; 2008-10: Risely Kitchens, The Manor Office Park Unit 4, Paulshof, Jhb - Ongoing solo show of paintings in mixed media.
2009: Utopia Nature Reserve, Magaliesberg Mountains, North West Province - Group show in paradise, 10 April
2009-10: The Coffee Shop at Sasani, Sasani Studios, Kew, Jhb. Ongoing solo show of paintings.
2010-11: South African Design House, 25 Gleneagles Road, Greenside, Jhb. Group show of paintings and sculpture.
2010-2011: Walter Sisulu Youth and Children's Centre School, Soweto: Art workshops with youth in conflict with the law, teaching skills and alternative income generating methods from waste materials.
BA Hdip Ed (Hons), 1 Year course in Fine Art; BA HDE; Honours
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