Christiaan Koen Biography

chris-koen-biography-pageBecause of my curiosity in life, I portray it as my soul interprets it. Born and raised in an art environment nurtured my artistic abilities from an early age. I started to paint at 12, and in 1987 started attending private art classes under the tuition of Ockert Vermeulen (father of well-known artist Marie Vermeulen-Breedt). My second art teacher was Jancke Combrink. Both artists inspired me during my early years to develop my creative talents.

After school I completed my National Service in Bloemfontein at One Parachute Battalion and thereafter in 1993 enrolled for a National Diploma course in Fine Arts at Vaal Triangle Technical University. Throughout my studies, earning distinctions in object and figure drawing, I made my debut in Johannesburg in 1995. On several occasions I was nominated to exhibit with some of the finest artists in South Africa from which I received 2 merit awards. I have been acknowledged by living art icon, Professor Pierre Volschenk as an artist who delivers work of an exemplary standard. (Prof. Volschenk created the sculpture of Dr. Danie Craven at Stellenbosch University in South Africa).

Through years of training and experience, I believe that this has made me a versatile mature artist and designer, mastering many different mediums and styles. I specialize in the human form and create accurate portraits with a strong academic art approach. You will recognize this style by the extensive detail and almost photorealistic finish of my works. In the area of fine arts my work comprises of about 30 years of experience in drawing and painting, proving myself to be a well established artist. 

Exhibitions & Achievements

  • 1994 - National Fine Arts Competition in Kempton Park (Received Merit Certificate)
  • 1995 - National Fine Arts Competition in Kempton Park (Received Merit Certificate)
  • 1996 - Youngest book cover illustrator in South Africa
  • 1997 - Artist in the sun (Johannesburg)
  • 2002 - Solo exhibition at Village Walk Centrum (Somerset West)
  • 2003 - Gallery on the bay (Gordon's Bay)
  • 2003 - Chelsea Art Gallery (Somerset West): Group Exhibition
  • 2004 - Bloom Gallery (Stellenbosch): Group Exhibition
  • 2004 - Mountain View Gallery (Gordon's Bay)
  • 2004 - Art Bazaar (Somerset West): Group Exhibition
  • 2004 - Frames and Things (Somerset West): Group Exhibition
  • 2005 - Art Bazaar (Somerset West): Group Exhibition
  • 2005 - Projects for SARU and portraits of SA presidents (received acknowledgments from Presidents Mandela, Mbeki, De Klerk and management in SA Rugby)
  • 2008 – Rotary Club art auction for charity (Gordon's Bay & Strand).
    Since 2009 till now – I have been commissioned by SA Rugby to paint match awards for the Springbok Sevens Rugby players.

Currently have work exhibiting in two galleries through out Cape Town and do portraits on commission.