Bekky Beukes’ exhibit will be on display from July 27th-August 31st. Gallery hours are from Tuesday-Friday 2-6pm.
In her own words:
Born and raised in South Africa, I immigrated to the United States in 2014. This transition helped me explore my love for painting. The stylized nature of my work can be attributed to my fashion design background where we were trained to elongate form. My style would be described as illustrative bordering on surrealism. The more recent work has been described as ‘ethereal’.
When I started painting 4 years ago, I used a lot of reference imagery, photographs of bodies, hands and faces. I would piece images together to create my composition- this was a method of study for me. When I became more confident, I began developing my own compositions, without reference imagery, my goal was to paint the images I created in my mind so that they would cease to haunt me. Intrigued by the notion of combining opposite matter, creating unnatural collaborations between form, exploring the relationship between dark and light, fueled by my fascination with internal and external chaos.
I am motivated by the process of creating itself. The learning and the desire to grow technically in my expression. I feel most fulfilled when I am able to work through a tough composition. Being present while the concept flows through me onto canvas is pure magic.
This exhibition is a full collection of completed work created in the past 4 years ‘a four year sojourn’. My newest piece ‘ANTITHESIS’ will be unveiled and completes the cycle of where I began to where I am now.
I have reproduced the original work in the form of canvas prints (as the originals are no longer available) and embellished the work which has been ornately framed in antique black, white and gold custom made frames.
The purpose of this show is to allow the audience to stroll through my visual journal, to view the work sequentially. Each series represents a specific emotion attached to that period, which comes through in the work. I personally hope to appreciate seeing a certain amount of growth in my technique, use of color and composition.
I have a few favorites, some for what they mean to me personally, some for the growth they allowed me to achieve, some I love more because of what they demanded I learn.
CAGED: This piece is a personal favorite because of what I was able to say in the way she holds her body, her ownership of self.
THREE: I adore this piece because it was the first time I explored with multiple form, the painting was cast aside for months before I was ready to revisit and complete the process.
GHOST: This is one of my favorite pieces for the color palette, the softness I was able to achieve compared to the hard contrasts of my earlier work. I also love what she means to me, she is a beautiful broken heart, she is smoke and shadow…
I am inspired by so many great artists, the thing I enjoy seeing the most is their personal creative growth over a period of time. I love watching styles evolve and mature- this inspires me to keep pushing my own creative boundaries in order to achieve the same growth.
Some of my mentors are: Miss Van, you can see her influence in my circus collection, I adore her loose almost reckless style of painting. Other mentors include, Troy Brooks, Glenn Arthur, Mark Ryden, Wendy Ortiz, Joram Roukes, Dan Quinatana and Herkut to name a few.
I have spent countless hours in studio watching artists like Craola on the Juxtaposed Magazine YouTube channel. I would study the way the artists worked, Craola uses acrylic but is able to achieve a magnificent blend, I would buy the same brand of paint and experiment in studio. These experiments would deflate and frustrate me, I’m impatient and want to be good at something new immediately. I didn’t realize it at the time, but these frustrating moments were my most valuable learning moments.
I create in my studio, here in St Pete. If I am travelling, I take my sketch set up with me wherever I go. I grew up in South Africa and travelled the world in my 20’s. I lived in London for 2 years and although I was not painting, I was inspired to go home after my 2 years there and complete my fashion design degree, which I believe has influenced my painting style.
Outside of creating, adventure brings me joy, I a curious nature and incessant questioning thought-stream so I am, by design, fascinated by new shapes, places and people. I love to understand cultures and why humans live the way they live.
I thirst for and am inspired by, new information, stories and poetry. Reading words that have been strung together in such a way that they command a heart to swell is powerful to me.
My perfect year would be to spend half the year in solitude reading poetry and sketching in the mountains and half the year feasting on a hot humid summer. Ocean connection, painting in studio and loud adventures with the best hearts.
My tribe starts with my family who are a strong and close unit, my brothers and I are very supportive of one another and my folks are a good balance between good cop; mum – the die-hard fan girl, supporter of all things no matter how ridiculous, and bad cop; dad – the challenger, the realist, reminding you to look twice and then go.
I have a sensational core group of friends, we love and support each other, we keep each other grounded and share a similar madness and excitement for life and dreaming.
The Tampa Bay and St Pete art community have been incredibly supportive of me since moving here and I am honored to be a part of such an encouraging group of creative hearts. -Bekky
Interested in purchasing a piece or requesting a private viewing? Contact Bekky at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information on Bekky Beukes: