Nicci Swartz

I was born in the Eastern Cape in South Africa, a province littered with intense colour from not only the beautiful Aloes blazing through our country side but also the rich colours emanating from the rural Xhosa villages. Since an early age of spending time in these villages my work has been influenced by the Xhosa cultures, their bold use of colour on their homes, their incredible use of pattern in their Shwe Shwe fabrics telling stories of their heritage. 

My paintings all depicting portraits of both human and animal, showcase the spirit of the subject, some painted on traditional African fabrics, some on plain, but always with the bright if not fluorescent colours showing fiercely strong emotion and character.

While all these influences hail from my childhood, later on while studying I fell in love with the artist Gustav Klimt and his use of gold and pattern, partnered with this, and my love of painting large scale murals, street art and graffiti my style became a juxtaposition from all the tradition and interpreted into that of an ‘Urban Contemporary’ style based on large scale portraits using acrylics, graffiti paint, stencil patterns and often Gold or Silver Leaf.