Christiaan Bekker, California Member Since November 2008 Artist Statement "When something is created, it is not art. It only becomes art when it is appreciated by someone other than the artist."
This is the key and driving force behind the art I create. To be creative, is to exert one's mental or physical powers, often under difficult circumstances and at times, to the point of exhaustion. You need to satisfy yourself and your audience, even if you are a self taught artist, constantly adapting to new styles and ideas.....
I was fortunate to be born with a God given talent in the early sixties, to artistic parents in Pretoria, South Africa. Yet never realizing that this talent would one day allow me to realize a childhood dream of traveling to the United State of America.
I started to draw architectural design for residential homes, unofficially, when I was 5 years old. At the age of 10 I had already mastered pastel portraits of family and friends although I had no official training or art education.
While working as an artist in South Africa, I created many paintings from African Wildlife to International Rugby by using pastels and pencil. People in South Africa have recognized my artwork as a one of a kind, including, but not limited to former South Africa President, Nelson Mandela, whom in fact signed one of my pieces. I was also fortunate to have other sports legends sign my pieces like Tiger Woods, Ernie Els, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Tom Watson , Michael Schumacher- F1 Racing Champion and Michael Jordan.
At the age of 36, I decided to follow my dream and immigrate to the United States of America. I arrived in Houston, Texas in 1997 and experienced the very emotional spirit of the red, white, and blue - and knew I was home! I located to California where I was awarded the Juanita Crothers Fine Art Award in 1998. My talent however, is not just limited to oil paintings. I have also success with drawing cartoons and custom airbrush.
In 2003 I converted to palette knives because the paint brushes did not provide me enough freedom to create my art. A new style was born!
It is a pleasure to ship my art across the USA and to other parts of the world. My art can be seen in countries like the USA, South Africa, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, Japan and the UK. The pieces are not only available in original artworks but also in limited edition prints.
Today, I reside in California with my beautiful American wife, Stephanie and have three children and one grandchild.