Jaco
van Schalkwyk

Jaco van Schalkwyk was born in 1981 in Benoni, South Africa. He grew up in the faith home, Jatniël: the headquarters of the Latter Rain Mission International (recognised by the blue dresses worn by some of the female members). It is this background which informs his view and interpretation of society, and forms the foundation of his body of work. Van Schalkwyk draws from a five year period of observation of Jatniël, documenting the everyday activities and rituals; traditions and values; the environment and the effect that time has on this community. He elevates the mundane to create a metaphor for life as a spiritual activity, highlighting their value system of putting God and community ahead of the individual.

The artist draws inspiration from 17th century Dutch paintings, portraits, and vintage photographs. He combines these historical influences with the compositional qualities of random snapshots in order to create a portrait for the 21st century, of the life and lifestyle of his personal ‘then’ and ‘now’.  The imagery deals with the concepts of community, slaughter, sacrifice, and survival. Interior, exterior, and landscape juxtapose to underline the fugitive nature of time. The skilled and compassionate portrayal of the people and places he paints, combined with diffused and subtle colour harmonies, create a mood of introspection, leading the viewer to ask questions about the quality of life, and our place in the greater scheme.

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