Limited Edition Prints by artist Ivan Smith. 39cm x 39cm
Ivan Smith is a versatile and prolific artist from Cape Town, South Africa. He has been pursuing his artistic vision since childhood, and has explored various disciplines and genres throughout his career.
Ivan was born in Cape Town and grew up in Pietersburg. He showed his talent early on, when his work was selected for an international exhibition in Taiwan at age 15. He studied art and design at Pretoria Technicon, focusing on textile design. Despite being told by his lecturers that he was not commercial enough, he had a long and successful career as a fashion and textile designer.
However, he became disillusioned with the fast fashion industry and its negative impact on the environment and society. He decided to transition to full-time art practice in 2018, inspired by street art and pop art. He started with mixed-media paintings and drawings, using stencils, spray paint and acrylics to create figurative work layered with patterns and colours. He aimed to blur the boundaries between art and design, and to create subtle contrasts between subject and space.
Since 2020, his work became increasingly digital, as he experimented with different themes and processes using CAD technology. He adopted a pop art style that suited his juxtaposition of popular culture images, such as stickers, comic strips, social media icons and celebrities. He drew and painted multiple images by hand, and arranged them densely on the canvas, adding objects and patterns that related to the context of the work. He wanted to draw the viewer in and make them explore the campy explosion of graphic art.
He also identified with outsider artists like Tretchikoff, who was a pioneer of pop art in the 50s by making art for the masses. He started collaborating with the Tretchikoff brand in Cape Town, reinterpreting the original works in his own digital pop art style. He paid homage to the artist’s heritage and relevance in the 21st century.
Ivan Smith is an artist who has embraced change and innovation throughout his life. He has been influenced by both street art and pop art, and has created his own distinctive style that reflects his vision and personality.