About the Artist
A South African painter, he brings to life the vitality of the people, places, and spaces he paints on large scale oil-based canvases. There is a sense of something living within his realistic works, focusing on a spectrum of muses to express the silent beauty often found in moments in passing.
Raymond John Westraadt’s choice of medium is oil paint on canvas and he delights in turning his attention to neglected objects, inviting his viewer to imbue these objects with their own stories and imagined memories. He has been honing his craft for more than 10 years.
“The Urban dictionary publishes the following: ‘Outside of Africa the definition of an African woman conjures images of starvation, illiteracy, and oppression; she is someone to be pitied, she screams development aid and should appreciate that the world is coming to her rescue. However, I am drawn by the strength, resilience and gentleness of women from Africa.
Growing up in a city where the brutal and painful dismantling of an entire way of life was once deemed legitimate, I began to understand the careless disregard of man in an attempt to improve. My way of protesting this action is to try and stimulate a remembrance, the conscience thoughts of people by exposing them to that which looks and feels familiar, that which we grew up with – the old way of life when things seemed simpler.
Born into the richness of culture and tradition, many practices have defined the way of life for the African woman. I endeavor to capture the growth of the African woman, from being a young girl in the traditional surrounds to the blossoming of the young woman making her way in the world, capturing her beauty, her inner strength, her development to take a proud place in Society, contributing to her field of expertise with her developed skills and intelligence, providing guidance and beauty, every step of the way. I celebrate the positive, acknowledging the worth, intellect and beauty of every individual in our culturally rich Society.”
“African Beauty”, Oil on canvas ,47” x 47”