One of life’s travelers and blessed with an artist’s soul, Antoine de Villiers works in many mediums and in many styles. Yet, there is always something quintessential of her throughout the core of her work, like a wick in a candle drawing her creations out.
Originally from Potchefstroom, a small town in the northern part of South Africa, she got stuck into art at an early age making colorful messes in her parent’s home. Despite idyllic beginnings, Antoine didn’t plan on becoming an artist. She continued to enjoy art classes at school, even though she found them a challenge to begin with.
It was two profound events at the age of 17 which compelled Antoine to really begin to express herself through art. Surviving a head on collision with a car at 80mph while traveling as a passenger on a motorcycle and escaping with only cuts, bruises and an injured right hand, must have seemed like a miracle to the 17-year-old Antoine, encouraging deep introspection. Although left with permanent problems with her right hand, Antoine was amazed she got off so lightly compared to her driver who lost his life.
Then, just days after this accident, the diary she had kept since she was 12, was stolen prompting Antoine to turn to brush and canvas as an outlet for her thoughts, feelings and frustrations, instead of her now tainted diary. It was here where her life changed course and instead of studying psychology as planned, Antoine changed her attention to the arts.
After studying graphic and web design at the Potchefstroom University and Boston Business College, she gained international recognition as painter at the age of 23 and had her first solo exhibition in Notting Hill, London shortly after.
In the years that followed Antoine’s work was included in over sixty exhibitions across the globe. Antoine became a global nomad moving between South Africa, the UK, the US and India. She continued studying marble scuplting in Colorado, USA, photography in Delhi, India and Art History through Oxford University distance learning. She taught art to the children of India’s underworld –from the brothels of Old Delhi to Maharasthra’s slums.
Antoine’s work has received numerous awards including best figurative artist by the Richmond Art Museum, best Solo Artist by Eric Smith at the New York Art Expo and first place in Figurative Painting by Pamela Jean Tinnen from Artrepreneur. Antoine’s originals can be found in a great number of public and private collections around the globe.
“When my work leaves me feeling vulnerable & exposed I know I created something meaningful. The canvas is my playground of ideas and emotions, some of my visions are here, it is my art, it is what I have to offer.” -Antoine