Cape Town based artist Dave Robertson has been producing artwork and exhibiting since the mid 90’s. Initially known for his photographic work, he has exhibited at several galleries in Germany, USA, the Netherlands and South Africa.
Robertson spent the early part of his journey as a visual artist, in the film industry, freelancing as an art director. In between film projects he followed his passion for photography, which was primarily a form of social commentary, often concerned with documenting marginalised lifestyles.
After winning a national prize at the Spier Contemporary competition in 2010, for ‘Paper trails’ a documentary project focusing on informal recyclers in Newtown, Johannesburg, he took a break from both photography and the film industry and began to teach himself to paint.
“I consider myself a versatile visual artist who feels happiest when pushing the limits of my creative process, whether it be expressionist photography, abstract painting or printmaking. My work is often concerned with the in-between spaces which are not immediately apparent but can be found just under the ‘skin’ of the perceived physical world. A place where fact and fiction, objectivity and subjectivity join hands in a magical dance. Where our so-called physical reality seemingly invites aspects of the metaphysical world to show themselves in the work.”
Group exhibitions paintings and prints :
2019 “Today”, Aity Gallery, Franschoek, Western Cape.
2019 “Turbine Art Fair”, represented by Candice Berman Gallery, Johannesburg.
1998 “Colour Spirit”, hand-painted photographs, Jojo Centre, Berlin, Germany.
1996 Exhibition of life on the streets of Luanda, Angola for Kandengues Unidos, held in Paris, Angola, Mozambique. Initiated by CIES and the E.U.
Solo exhibitions painting :
2011 “concrete tails and urban trails”, Worldart, Cape Town.
Shortlisted for the Rise Art Prize 2018, for his “Subtraction print series”.
His photographic book entitled, Plakkerskamp, Bonnievale South Africa 2003-2012, won a prize at the Lëtzebuerger Buchpräis 2013, anational book award ceremony, in Luxembourg.
Spier Contemporary 2010 award for “Paper Trails”, a documentary photographic project focusing on informal recyclers in Newtown, Johannesburg.
Robertson’s artworks have been acquired by a variety of international collectors from Sweden, the USA, Tasmania, and the UK. Local collectors include the South African Foundation for Contemporary Art (SAACA), Nandos and AFDA.
2019 “Accentuated fluidity” print series catalogue by Berman Contemporary.
2018 Article in Habitat Magazine, by Candice Berman Gallery, highlighting the Transition print series.
2015 Article in Future Cape Town, an online magazine featuring a photo essay highlighting the Transition series and travels in African cities.
2012 Publication of his first photographic book Plakkerskamp, Bonnievale South Africa 2003-2012. The book documents a marginalized community living on a municipal refuse dump in the Western Cape, over a nine year period.
2011 Article in Elle Decor magazine (March/April edition), about his abstract paintings created using textured industrial paints.
2010 Spier Contemporary 2010 awards book.
2010 Bonani Africa documentary exhibition catalogue.
2003 Hand-painted photograph used as cover image for Wayne State University press spring/summer catalogue.
2002 Article in July edition of Elle magazine, about his hand-painted photographs showing at Kim Sacks gallery, Johannesburg.
1998 “Colour Spirit” exhibition print catalogue for ARTCO, Germany.