Bastiaan van Stenis
Bastiaan van Stenis (b. 1981) lives and works near Cape Town, South Africa. He is of half Dutch, half South African descent and grew up in Cape Town. He is a descendant of the renowned 19th Century English painter Thomas Baines.
Van Stenis is primarily a self-taught artist but he received private art tutoring and guidance from a young age. After his schooling in 2000, he dedicated himself to painting full-time. It is said that a good painter is good at solving problems on the canvas – a challenge that Van Stenis enjoys. He veers toward the unexpected then carefully steers it back to somewhere slightly more sensible. The result leaves the viewer intrigued and with a sense of adventure. The manner in which he weaves his mediums together represents the stitching together of the self in a dreamlike portrayal of reality.
The childlike brutality refers to a narrative of growing up and surviving as an individual amidst the complexities of social codes, expectations and definitions of being. “We carry memories like marks that define us. We collect emotions and they shape our form,” he says. Bastiaan van Stenis works mainly with oil paint on canvas but on occasion uses acrylic paint, glue and found objects in his paintings. Other projects include taxidermy and sculpture.