Solly Smook was born in Otjiwarongo, Namibia. Matriculated at Jan van Riebeeck High school in Cape Town and studied Graphic Design at the Cape Technikon.
With over more than 40 solo and group exhibitions Smook has built a reputation for producing challenging works that evoke memories of emotion in the viewer beyond their aesthetic appeal. His work has drawn attention across the globe, and hangs in the homes of art lovers on five continents – from SA to Australia, Ireland to Buenos Aires.
Galleries and exhibition venues include:
Hout Bay Gallery – Grand Provence,
Franschoek – Is Art,
Franschoek – Art gallery,
Fraschoek – Smudge gallery,
Clarens – Art and Wine ,
Clarens – Isis art Gallery,
Rosebank – Orange Mill Gallery,
Paarl, – Lindy van Niekerk Gallery,
Welgemoed – VEO Gallery,
Cape Town – Casa Labia,
His canvasses have been auctioned at the Foundling Museum in London for FoodBank Africa and exhibited in aid of Amnesty International on behalf of Nobel Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi at Mandela Rhodes, Cape Town.
Solly Smook’s new work in oils and mixed media portray the splinters of the sensual and the spiritual. With modern, expressionistic brush strokes and provocative colours, the male and female divine is brought forward as the subject matter.
His recent artwork explores concepts relating to the uniqueness of emotion and the importance of it in our lives – this process attempts to re-consider the conventions of portrait painting through a continued pursuit toward the more contemporary. The goal is to create paintings that engage with matters beyond what is immediately visible, quite often consciously and reflexively questioning the nature of spiritual identity as something deconstructed, created, and tangible.
“ I am significantly concerned with the beauty of the human being..
Inspired by a wild deviation from dogma and the truth of spiritual matter that lies blatantly in sight. I do not try to portray the struggle, the past, or any other form of oppression that some might expect from art.
Instead I aim to bring or portray the beauty we seldom see.