Famous Artists from South Africa Artists

Famous Artists from South Africa

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List of the most popular artists from South Africa, listed alphabetically with photos when available. For centuries artists have been among the world's most important people, helping chronicle history and keep us entertained with one of the earliest forms of entertainment. Whether they're known for painting, sculpting, etching or drawing, the famous South African artists on this list have kept that tradition alive by creating renowned pieces of art that have been praised around the world. You can find useful information below about these notable South African artists, such as when they were born and where their place of birth was.

The list you're viewing is made up of a variety of different artists, including Paul Emsley and Gavin Jantjes.

This list answers the questions, "Which famous artists are from South Africa?" and "Who are the most well-known South African artists?"

For further information on these historic South African artists, click on their names. If you're a fine art lover use this list of celebrated South African artists to discover some new paintings that you will enjoy.



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  1. 1

    Evan Penny

    Evan Penny was born in South Africa in 1953. He currently lives and works in Toronto, Canada. In 1978 Penny graduated from Alberta College of Art and Design and received a post-graduate degree in sculpture. Evan Penny makes sculptures of human forms out of silicone, pigment, hair and aluminium. His ...more

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    • Birthplace: South Africa
    • Nationality: Canada, South Africa
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    Johannes Meintjes
    Photo: Freebase/Fair use

    Johannes Petrus Meintjes was a South African artist and writer. Meintjes grew up on his family's farm in the mountains near Molteno. He lived and worked in Cape Town for several years, taught art, travelled for exhibitions and won a range of South African and international awards. In 1965 he retired to ...more

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    • Artworks: Sebastiaan, Young Man in Sleep, Sleeping Boy, Landscape with Waiting Women, Waenhuiskrans, + more
    • Birthplace: Riversdale
    • Nationality: South Africa
    • Art Forms: Sculpture, Painting
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    Marlene Dumas is a South African born artist and painter who lives and works in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. In the past Dumas produced paintings, collages, drawings, prints and installations. She now works mainly with oil on canvas and ink on paper.more

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    • Artworks: The Painter, Jen, Albino
    • Birthplace: Western Cape, City of Cape Town, Cape Town, Africa, South Africa
    • Associated periods or movements: Contemporary art
    • Nationality: Netherlands, South Africa
    • Art Forms: Painting
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    David Goldblatt is a South African photographer noted for his portrayal of South Africa during the period of apartheid and more recently that country's landscapes.more

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    • Artworks: Man Sleeping, Joubert Park, Johannesburg, April 1975, Farmer's Son with his Nursemaid. Marico Bushveld, + more
    • Birthplace: Randfontein, South Africa
    • Nationality: South Africa
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    Robert Hodgins
    Photo: Freebase/Fair use

    Robert Hodgins was an English painter and printmaker.more

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    • Birthplace: Dulwich, London, United Kingdom
    • Nationality: United Kingdom, South Africa
    • Art Forms: Painting
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    Jürgen Schadeberg is a South African photographer and artist.more

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    • Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
    • Nationality: South Africa
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    Alfred Kumalo, better known as Alf Kumalo, and with the surname sometimes spelled Khumalo, was a South African documentary photographer and photojournalist.more

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    • Birthplace: South Africa
    • Nationality: South Africa
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    Peter Magubane is a South African photographer.more

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    • Birthplace: Johannesburg, South Africa
    • Nationality: South Africa
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    William Kentridge is a South African artist best known for his prints, drawings, and animated films. These are constructed by filming a drawing, making erasures and changes, and filming it again. He continues this process meticulously, giving each change to the drawing a quarter of a second to two ...more

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    • Artworks: Drawing from Tide Table: Officers with Binoculars, Drawing from Tide Table: Dormitory Interior, Drawing from Tide Table: Beach Hotel at Night, Drawing from Tide Table: Soho on Balcony, Tide Table, + more
    • Birthplace: Johannesburg, South Africa
    • Nationality: South Africa
    • Art Forms: Painting
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    Obie Oberholzer

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    Obie Oberholzer
    Photo: Freebase/CC-BY-SA

    Petrus Cornelius Jacobus "Obie" Oberholzer is a South African photographer. Oberholzer was born on a small farm outside Pretoria, South Africa. He studied graphic design at Stellenbosch University in the late 1960s, and photography at the Bavarian State Institute of Photography in Munich, Germany in the ...more

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    • Nationality: South Africa
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    Tinus de Jongh

    Martinus Johannes "Tinus" de Jongh was one of South Africa's most popular painters. Self-taught, he began his career as a decorator in the Netherlands, and then pursued painting full-time. He achieved some note when the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam purchased one of his early pictures. He arrived in ...more

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    • Artworks: A Cape Homestead, St Nicolaas kerk met het Open Havenfront, Meiringspoort, Oudsthoorn, Canal houses in winter, + more
    • Birthplace: Netherlands
    • Nationality: Netherlands, South Africa
    • Art Forms: Painting
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    Sam Haskins, born Samuel Joseph Haskins, was a British photographer, born and raised in South Africa. He started his photographic career in Johannesburg and moved to London in 1968. Haskins is best known for his contribution to nude photography, in-camera image montage, and his books, the most ...more

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    • Birthplace: Kroonstad
    • Nationality: South Africa
  13. 13

    Brent Stirton is a Senior Photographer for Getty Images, based in New York. His award-winning work has been widely recognized for its powerful depiction of issues related to conflict, health and environmental issues. Stirton specializes in documentary work and is known for his alternative approaches to ...more

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    • Artworks: Blind Indian Albino Boys, 2011 World Press Photo Award for Contemporary Issues winning photo, Rhino Wars, Former bushwife, Sierra Leone, + more
    • Birthplace: Durban, South Africa
    • Nationality: South Africa
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    Kevin Carter
    Photo: Freebase

    Kevin Carter was a South African photojournalist and member of the Bang-Bang Club. He was the recipient of a Pulitzer Prize for his photograph depicting the 1994 famine in Sudan. He committed suicide at the age of 33. His story is depicted in the 2010 feature film The Bang-Bang-Club, in which he was ...more

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    • Birthplace: Johannesburg, South Africa
    • Nationality: South Africa
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    Dave Robertson

    Dave Robertson, is a South African visual artist currently living and working in Cape Town. His photographic work is primarily a form of social commentary. His first photographic book,'Plakkerskamp, Bonnievale 2003 -2012', was published by a humanitarian organisation in Luxembourg, Europe. The book ...more

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    • Birthplace: Zimbabwe
    • Nationality: Zimbabwe, South Africa
    • Art Forms: Photography, Painting
  16. 16

    Lennie Lee is a South African conceptual artist who lives and works in London.more

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    • Birthplace: Johannesburg, South Africa
    • Associated periods or movements: Contemporary art
    • Nationality: United Kingdom, South Africa
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    Austin Stevens is a South African-born herpetologist, wildlife photographer, film maker and author best known for hosting a series of snake documentaries, best known of which is Austin Stevens: Most Dangerous.more

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    • Birthplace: Pretoria, South Africa
    • Nationality: South Africa
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    Andrzej Sawa

    Andrzej Sawa is a Polish-South African photographer.more

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    • Birthplace: Poland
    • Nationality: Poland, South Africa
    • Art Forms: Photography
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    Verika is a South African abstract expressionist painter focusing on femininity and sensuality. She has a Fine Art diploma, majoring in painting and mixed media at Ruth Prowse School of Art.more

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    • Birthplace: South Africa
    • Associated periods or movements: Abstract expressionism, Expressionism
    • Nationality: South Africa
    • Art Forms: Painting, Drawing
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    Abrie Fourie is a South African born artist. He currently lives and works in Berlin, Germany. While specialising in photography and digital media, Fourie prefers not to be bound by a specific genre. His photographs have been described as capturing mundane moments and transforming them into static ...more

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    • Birthplace: Pretoria, South Africa
    • Nationality: Germany, South Africa
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