Isolation, what Arno describes as one of his favourite paintings, is on its way to its new home in London. Picture: Facebook
Isolation, what Arno describes as one of his favourite paintings, is on its way to its new home in London. Picture: Facebook

Arno Carstens goes from singing to painting

By Time of article published Feb 27, 2021

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Reagan Squire

Cape Town – Arno Carstens is best known as one of South Africa’s foremost rockers, but did you know he paints too?

The songwriter and former Springbok Nude Girls front man will be displaying his art, which he has been creating for the last three years, at Casa Labia in Muizenberg today.

Carsten’s first exhibition, called Arno Plus, took place at The Lovell Gallery in Woodstock nine years ago.

Despite being known mostly as a musician for most of his life, Carstens started his journey with fine arts as a teenager.

‘’I felt awkward as a youth like most and art gave me a home from around 14. I had wonderful art teachers that truly ignited the art vibes for me in my teens, it even led to a bit of theatre work. It was a wonderful way to grow up.’’

Isolation, what Arno describes as one of his favourite paintings, is on its way to its new home in London. Picture: Facebook

Carstens, one of the country’s celebrated musicians, has released multiple albums with a long list of successful singles and awards which include Best Rock Album, Best Alternative Album and Song Of The Year.

‘’Later on, life’s unpredictability gave rise to new hobbies and revisiting some old ones.

“My wife took me for a painting class about 16 years ago as a fun couple’s thing to do after an exhausting tour and I’ve been painting regularly since.

“I can be creative all day long, alternating between songwriting and painting, and it makes for a very stimulating day!’’

Carstens has been described as a fine artist by his peers who he has collaborated with over the years.

Asked about making himself vulnerable to criticism by displaying his art, he said: ‘’It’s a different kind of awkward compared to singing on stage. It’s kind of terrifying because of how critical I am of my own work.

“But like music, it’s good for the soul and can be liberating if you survive the night.’’

Carstens uses “oil, spray paint, charcoal and collages” for his creations, and draws inspiration “from the times we live in”.

He will also be exhibiting his art at Marianne Wine Estate on March 20.

Weekend Argus

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