Antoine de Villiers hails from a small town in the, northern part of South Africa called Potchefstroom. Here she developed her natural artistic skills from the day she discovered that crayons could draw on walls and years later she subsequently studied graphics and web design at Potchefstroom University. In 1996 she devoted herself full-time to painting and ran a studio in Stellenbosch.. Here her career got underway exhibiting in the Western Cape area. Soon her works traveled throughout South Africa.
During the following years, she was actively involved in several solo as well as joint art exhibitions countrywide. The end of 2000 saw Antoine traveling to the British Isles where her oil paintings gained international recognition in galleries around Sussex. Soon she was invited to take part in joint exhibitions in London, and solo in Notting Hill. In early 2003, Antoine relocated to the United States where she is presently working on several upcoming exhibitions as well as new mediums such as Marble and Metal sculpting.
Antoine's art is an introspectional investigation of her life and thought. Her works have ranged in style from the realistic themes to abstract works, as the stages of her life unfold itself. She finds her inspiration in her surroundings, hence her love for travel, which in turn explains her wide spectrum of styles. Her work embraces the psychological relations of the various facets of a person within themselves, thus she prefers constructing emotional complexity in a solo subject.
Painting has been a lifeline during trying times, when the boundaries between real and abstract blur. She expresses her analysis of life through her art and is enriched by everything and everyone around her.
Eating, breathing, creating… all equally vital for my existence, my personal artwork is solely a form of self expression. When I discovered that I could create visions on canvas that matched the thoughts in my mind, I experienced a great sense of relief. I create because I have to. No matter what the future holds, I will always be creating.
I have never experienced 'artist block' or wondering what to paint, only the dilemma of which idea to paint next. I am constantly wondering how I will ever find time to capture all the visions going through my head. The more I work, the more ideas are borne. Therefore, the more I paint, the more I leave unpainted.
Figurative and nude work
Nude figure studies are certainly one of my most preferred themes. To me, there is nothing more honest and serene. Every single figurative piece I create, I attempt to approach with the highest respect for the human form. My aim is to capture the real and raw moments of our every day life, accepting things as they truly are. I do not wish to glorify, but simply to accept, interpret and reflect.
I never really think of my figurative subjects as ‘nudes’. But rather the most truthful way I can express an experience or moment, taking place in my mind.
In my work I seek to complement the moments I encounter. I attempt to break life down to its visual essentials – light, shadow, balance, movement, harmony. By doing this perhaps I can reveal a new perspective. I enjoy capturing the essence of a moment and telling a story by diversity of color and composition that the camera cannot see.
Often this process leaves me feeling naked and exceptionally vulnerable. My hope is that while looking at my artwork, the viewer will get that special feeling of being involved in something personal.