Throughout her career, her art has retained an element of the dark, comical, and narrative. She works in a mode of portrait illustration across various mediums, including mixed media on paper, watercolor, acrylics, sculpture, and printmaking.
Karlien De Villiers was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1975. She studied Graphic Design and Illustration at Stellenbosch University from 1994 - 1997, and worked as a commercial designer in an advertising agency in Cape Town after graduating.
She soon realized the advertising world did not suit her passion for painting, drawing and traditional image-making techniques, so she resigned and traveled through the US and Europe for two years doing odd jobs, visiting museums and bookstores and drawing in her sketchbooks.
Upon returning to South Africa in 2000, she started her Master’s degree in Information Design at Pretoria University. De Villiers first published short comic stories in Bitterkomix, satirical Afrikaans comic magazine, but during her postgraduate studies she started working on a graphic novel that deals with the death of her mother set against the socio-political backdrop of Apartheid South Africa during the 1970s-80s, entitled Meine Mutter war eine schöne Frau (‘My mother was a beautiful woman"). The novel was published in a German translation in Switzerland (Arrache Coeur), and emerged as the second-best seller at the Fumetto International Comics Festival in Luzern in 2006.
The book has since been translated into French (a et La), Spanish (Glenat) and Italian (Comma22) – but has to date not been published in South Africa.
Floating Solo, Cellar Contemporary, Trento, IT
Karlien de Villiers-Work on Paper, Fumetto Comix Festival, Galerie F5, Luzern, CH
The Discomfort Zone, Worldart Gallery, Cape Town, ZA
While you were sleeping, Erdmann Contemporary, Cape Town, ZA
Who can a monster blame for being blue? Erdmann Contemporary, Cape Town, ZA
Eine Kindheit in Südafrika, Fumetto Comix Festival, HGK Kapelle, Luzern, CH
Meine Mutter war eine schöne Frau, Kunstmuseum Erlangen, DE
BOOMING Contemporary Art Show - Feminismas, Bologna, IT
SHAPING THINGS: Contemporary Ceramics, SMAC, Stellenbosch, ZA
Cape Town Art Fair, Cellar Contemporary, Trento, IT
40 x 50
40 x 40
31 x 41
23 x 31
31 x 41
40 x 50
23 x 31
Events, Posted on 11/05/2022
Cellar renews the appointment with the Bolognese Art Week with two booths at ARTEFIERA and BOOMingRead more
Events, Posted on 01/03/2022
La nuova mostra di Karlien De Villiers allo Spazio Pulk in collaborazione con CellarRead more
Events, Posted on 11/05/2021
Cellar presents for the first time in Italy the works of the South African artist Karlien De Villiers in a solo show titled Floating SoloRead more
Events, Posted on 08/02/2020
For the second time we’ll be present in the art fair with a booth which features three sections, in collaboration with Studio d’Arte Raffaelli.Read more
by Davide Raffaelli