Nicolaas Maritz at The Toffee Gallery

Nicolaas Maritz at The Toffee Gallery
Interviewed by Hentie van der Merwe

To view the catalogue for Nicolaas Maritz's exhibition, Oeil de Perdrix, click here.

HVDM: This will be the first time that you exhibit at The Toffee Gallery. What do you think about this new contemporary art space in Darling and having your work exhibited there?
NM: Darling is very fortunate to have such a professional art gallery and I am only delighted to have been invited to exhibit at this beautiful venue.

HVDM: You are exhibiting a series of prints created digitally. What is ‘digital art’?
NM: Digital art refers to both art that is generated digitally (from graphics to video and sound) as well as art that is printed by digital means. It often is a combination of both and there are many permutations.

HVDM: Tell me about the use of digital media in your work?
NM: From the very day that I got my first computer, and first digital camera, I have been trying out ways of working with these new tools. As technology advances, there are so many more options, both for working on the computer, as well as for printing my images. Two recent examples of works I created digitally is RHINO STOMPER (2013), a digital collage I made, using excerpts from previous paintings, graphically manipulated in various ways and combined with a soundtrack, that can be viewed on YouTube (Click here to view). The other is a digital collage album, LOVE TOKEN, I published online last year. (Click here to view)

HVDM: Is digital art becoming more popular as a medium for making art?
NM: The answer is a resounding yes. David Hockney has had immense artistic and popular success with his recent digital drawings/paintings of the Yorkshire landscape. Gilbert & George still garners a great deal of attention for their large digitally produced segmented artworks. Locally, William Kentridge has made several digitally produced and/or printed works. There are many other examples.

HVDM: What does the title of your exhibition, ‘Oeil de Perdrix’, mean?
NM: It’s a French term meaning “the eye of the partridge” and refers to a colour value winemakers in France use as a standard in determining the ideal (rose) colour of a wine. Wines of this nature can easily turn brown in the maturation process, so the beautiful soft pink of the “oeil de perdrix” is a most desirable quality. In my own work I am also very particular about colour values.

HVDM: What are the ‘Oeil de Perdrix’ works about?
NM: I never describe what my works are ‘about’ since I believe the images speak for themselves. I don’t make my work with a ‘message’ in mind, but rather according to the inspiration of the moment, and therefore what the works are ‘about’ is very much the result of the making process. I do however have many ideas relating to colour and the use of line and shape. When exploring the possibilities of a specific medium, my mind adjusts to the physical possibilities, and thus enabled, my imagination seems to have free run. Subject matter is drawn from, and varies according to, the time of day and my immediate environment. The MEMEOLAS series (I – III) I did in 2015 represents a digital image posted on Facebook daily for a year, and illustrate this inspirational method of working very well (Click here to view).

HVDM: How are these works printed?
NM: The images were printed by a wall-paper company, and I decided to use this method because amongst others, it provided the possibility of using a strong coated paper, which means that the latex printing inks don’t seep into the paper, as with most conventional printing processes. This is a quality which brilliantly enhances the colour strength. After all, art doesn’t always have to be produced by traditional means.

To view the catalogue for Nicolaas Maritz's exhibition, Oeil de Perdrix, click here.