Get a child in need a pair of shoes for free
ORIGINALLY from Belgium, Andre Dhaenens is an emerging yet talented artist who exhibits paintings that are vibrant, colourful and attractive in every sense of the word.
In an interview with Tonight, Dhaenens explained what his paintings symbolise: “Sometimes my paintings represent my mood at that specific time. The images represent my feelings in that moment. I think every artist would agree with me that paintings are representations of what you are feeling and your mood. If an artist is happy, you can see that through his work. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a deep feeling. You make paintings because you like it and hope other people will enjoy it as well.”
From as young as 14, Dhaenens has been making art. With a background as a fashion designer, he learnt about drawing and the world of art: “For 16 years, I worked in the clothing industry and as a fashion designer, you’re obviously an artist. So I did T-shirts, prints, that kind of thing, and that’s art.”
But for the Belgian, his true passion lies with painting. Dhaenens said his father was one of his true inspirations.
“My father died a long time ago and was an artist and antique designer. I guess it’s more of a hereditary thing. He didn’t really teach me about art, I more or less learnt everything on my own. And I don’t feel sorry for myself. I think all of us are born with a brilliant talent,” he said.
Dhaenens is also involved in other aspects of art – he’s also a skilled cartoonist. “In Belgium, you learn about cartoon stuff and I was brought up in that time when all the famous cartoons were on TV. Tin Tin and The Smurfs are famous cartoons from Belgium.”
As a fairly new citizen of SA, he’s only beginning to expose his work in the country.
“I wouldn’t know if it’s tough to sell art in South Africa. I haven’t been to Joburg, Cape Town and the other cities. But in terms of Durban, I guess it’s a matter of who you know. If you are connected to well-known people, then other people see your work and want it as well. That’s how it works.
“But nobody’s seen my art. I’ve thought about approaching galleries, but the problem with that is they take a huge commission and give you a certain price for your work.”
Asked about his biggest challenge as an artist, he said: “It’s more about life challenges for me. When things are bad and you struggle to pay for things, it’s difficult to work. You’re worried about how you’re going to pay the rent and put food on the table.
“But painting is like escapism. It’s like a magic wand that can help take away all your worries. But as soon as you stop painting, all the worries are back.”
Dhaenens’s paintings are versatile, creative and often tell a story. But the artist still has many goals he would like to accomplish.
“At this moment – because of my age – I want to be exposed to as many people as possible. I want people to like my art and also I want to sell my work.”
• Those interested in Dhaenens’ art can call him on 079 023 3815.