Willemien Cilliers
Cilliers began exhibiting her work in South Africa in 1978 and she has held numerous solo exhibitions and participated in group shows to date. In 1979 and 1980 she traveled to Paris to study works of art in international art museums also completing a course in experimental lithography in Belgium. Between 1986 and 1992 Cilliers completed a commercial art course specializing in land and seascapes. This was followed by course on mural and technique painting in 1993 and 1994. It was after this that Cilliers began her unique quest to capture the essence of the artwork of past master painters. Her ability to capture the detail and the bright colours of the 17th Century Dutch masters is equal to her ability to capture the rapid, thick and energetic brushstrokes of Picasso. The copy has had a long and legitimate history in European art tradition. Initially an artist trained as an apprentice in a studio and produced works of art recognized to be in the manner of the master. Cilliers points out that the artwork 'was the expression of a communal spirit, not a single individual and was, furthermore, the manifestation of highly skilled precision and craftsmanship.'

Cilliers experiences all the satisfaction associated with the creation of an original artwork and explains that an act of copying is always an act of interpretation similar to the accepted craft and skill of a musician reinterpreting a classical piece of music or a biographer who captures the soul of a subject. Cilliers concludes that her works are copies, 'yet they are also real paintings, and are hand-crafted objects with their own intrinsic value' and the act of rediscovering and recreating the art of another is also a creative activity for her. Cilliers upholds Picasso's comment on art: "To me, there is no past or future in art. If a work of art cannot live always in the present it must not be considered at all. The art of the Greeks, of the Egyptians, of the great painters who lived in other times, is not an art of the past; perhaps it is more alive today than it ever was." Cilliers is also an excellent portrait artist. Cilliers is happy to accept commissioned work.

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