Christo Francois du Toit was born in the Lowveld of Mpumalanga, South Africa in 1986. His parents built and ran a small safari lodge in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve bordering the Kruger National Park. It was there, where his passion for animals and the drawing of them was ignited.
He moved with his family to the charming seaside town of Hermanus in 1997, where he would finish school and began formal art training under the late Peter Earl. Peter provided him with a positive space for freedom and expression. It was thanks to him that Christo could approach art with a sense of delicate recklessness.
“I have always seen my work as pieces of mind displaying the discovery of life, love and everything in between.”
Christo’s style relies on the unpredictable process of creativity as its foundation, preferring to let the work grow and evolve spontaneously over time. While each new work starts with a sense of uncertainty and angst, this becomes the platform for the art to take shape and manifest.
His more recent wildlife series is created on fine art paper using a micro-fine ink pen. Once set on the outline of the animal, he can begin with the intricate stories. The style stems from countless hours of coffee shop doodling and is done in an almost trance-like meditation where he draws first and thinks later.
Each animal tells a story, which depicts the cost of being a human and our interaction with nature. It also alludes to our strange obsession with capturing and destroying the planet and putting a price-tag on the priceless.
Although a serious subject, the stories also have a touch of tongue-in-cheek to them and leave room for the viewer’s own interpretation, which is paramount to the artist. The work is extremely detailed and spontaneous and takes on average 2 – 3 months to complete.
Christo has had numerous exhibitions in and around Cape Town and sold his pieces to clients around the world. He now resides in Muizenberg, where his studio is based.
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