Frans Smit

Date:09 March, 2016


Frans Smit was born and raised in Stellenbosch. He studied photography at the Free State Technikon, and only became interested in painting when he moved to London. A fortunate turn of events lead to a meeting with the late Lucian Freud. Frans was favored by the famous artist and was mentored by him, he encouraged Frans to complete short courses at various institutions such as Central St Martins. Freud’s influence has had a lasting effect on Frans’s work.

Frans presently works from Eastside studios in Woodstock, Cape Town and is also a freelance photographer working for magazines, photographing decor, interiors, portraits and food.

He has exhibited in numerous group shows with distinguished galleries such as Everard Read and Grande Provence. He was selected for the Absa L’atelier award in 2008 and 2010. In 2013 he won the Queensplate “Moments” Photographic Competition and received a Merit Award at the Vuleka ArtAward.

Frans says “Painting is my passion, I find it very rewarding and it fills me with a sense of excitement I don’t get from anything else.

I believe in order to create great art one has to finish a painting with the same passion and enthusiasm as when you start it. Constant hard work is the key to success, talent is not enough.”

Artist Statement

I recently returned from a 3 month residency in NY. During my stay I was exposed to many new ideas. 

‘UNTITLED’ is part of a new body of work. The inspiration behind the work is Identity.

 In a world today where most people rely on cell phones and cameras taking portraits continuously.

The thick paint and big brushstrokes are almost skin like. 

 Exploring the human form through mark making and a vicious attack of the canvas.

Most of the pieces are so to say ‘faceless’ making them “unidentifiable” leaving it open to the imagination as to who the person is in the portrait.