Allen Wittert

Allen Wittert

London, Winchmore Hill, United Kingdom

About Allen Wittert

Sprawling cities, superficiality and vanity, insecurity, instability, smiling cyborgs and barcodes, transience, self checkouts, apps that track our lives, radioactivity, geo-engineering, brutality, and the human form are some of the things that occupy my mind.

Born in Johannesburg, I started my art career illustrating for South African advertising agencies, and supported myself this way through college and turned it into a career until painting became a priority.

I lived and worked in various parts of America for 18 years. I now live in north London. Travel and being unsettled has played a huge part of my life, and no doubt my natural anxiety and worry about the state and future of the planet show up in my work but so does the excitement and joy I have experienced around the world.

Growing up in the apartheid era had a dysfunctional effect on all citizens, some far worse than others. Unknowingly I learned to deal with a country in moral turmoil by exaggerating and distorting what I saw and felt, mirroring our government which would do the same thing to keep it's people in line.
This is perhaps why cartooning became a natural outlet for me.

Nowadays, artists are inspired almost daily by new images, but over the last five years term my influences have been Albert Oehlen, Neo Rauch, still Giacometti and figurative masters like Schiele.

Technique wise, I’m certain that my habit of using tools, large brushes and scrapers go back to me helping my dad repair and repaint our old house in Johannesburg. I fell in love with building, appreciating drips and texture, smoothing over rough and then later, employing mediums and sanders to roughen up and enliven smooth areas.

I love the contrast in using delicate linework in unexpected areas, and gashes of black line in otherwise sensitive parts of a painting, Cartooning occupied much of my youth and so I employ it as a part of the process.
I work mostly in acrylic, beginning with either a charcoal sketch or by painting directly onto the canvas. Using spray bottle and a squeegee, I find large basic shapes before working into them in more detail, using scraping tools and brushes. Work is often finished with a gloss or semi gloss varnish.

Education

1991 -Witwatersrand Technikon, 3 yr Graphic Design NatDip
High School-The Parktown High School for Art Music and Ballet

Exhibitions

2018- present - Online at Saatchiart.com
2014- 2017- www.Ugallery San Francisco
2015 -Jennifer Perlmutter Gallery Lafayette CA
2014 -Jennifer Perlmutter Gallery Lafayette CA
2012 - Joined www.ugallery.com
2011- Troy Fine Arts Southport CT
2010- Troy Fine Arts Southport CT
2012-Rockwell Gallery, Westport CT,
2011-Rockwell Gallery, Easton CT
2004- Ulla Surland Gallery II , Fairfield CT
2003- Labriola Gallery Stamford CT
2002 -Ulla Surland Gallery II, Fairfield CT