Nicolaas Maritz

This South African maverick artist based in the quaint rural village of Darling, near the Cape West Coast, draws much inspiration and perspective from his surroundings.  For over 30 years he has dedicated his time to his artistic career, producing vibrant and expressive artworks with his distinct and colourful style.  Painting mostly from memory, he succeeds in capturing the essence of his subject matter, whether it be a desert landscape, a still life with fruit or the moon surrounded by stars. 

Maritz seems to maintain a discreet metamorphic distance from the artworks themselves, in order not to get his hands "dirty", something which he feels could spoil the delicate artistic game.  When making art, he also employsa general tongue in cheek approach, and other personal slide rules, in a rather bewildering world of private artistic conundrums and secret references - a range of meanings invented and accumulated through the thirty odd years of working.  Throughout Maritz's work, visual narrative multiply, inform and are grafted onto subsequent works.  He refers laconically as his personal lucky packet of artistic parallels.

Over the years he has experimented with a number of media, but regularly returns to his first choice of material, enamel paint on board.  The brilliant luminosity of colour which he achieves in this medium is a widely recognised aspect of his style.

"His work is in a deceptively naive, retro technique that manages to convey a sense of both the meaningful and the decorative - to use that loaded term which in the art work implies art that's not serious.  Yet there's nothing pretty-pretty about this lot, or the hot, bright colours - often ordinary household paint he used in his parents' garage when he was young, and still uses,  much to the horror of purists."  Hilary Prendini Toffoli, Good Taste Magazine, 2009

Maritz exhibits his working his private gallery, named the MSG (Maritz Studio Gallery), a gabled dorphuis built in 1927 in Darling. Apart from works in all major museums, corporate, public and private South Africa art collections, his work has also been exhibited abroad.

Text - Nicolaas Maritz


Pink paper bowl at full Moon, 790mm x 825mm                                  Pink bowl with vegetables,  895mm x 900mm

A hotch potch of apparitions, 1220mm x 1195mm

Speckled bird portrait, Enamel on board  354mm x 306mm

Selfportret met groen hare                                                                                 Geek                  
Enamel on board  610mm x 430mm                                               Enamel on board 610mm x 430mm  

Our sister, Enamel on board 610mm x 610mm

Golden boy, Enamel on board  805mm x 805mm                             Late pleasure, Enamel on board  805mm x 805mm

Spadarene, Enamel on board  610mm x 500mm

                    Likkewaanbult,                                                                  Darling landscape with pink night light                                                          Enamel on board  1200mm x 1170mm                                             Enamel on board 610mm x 610mm

Thorn tree with birds, Enamel on board  400mm x 580mm

Ambivalent chair view,  535mm x 580mm

Three birds, Enamel on board  354mm x 306mm

Yellow plate with fish and wooden bird, Enamel on board  375mm x 464mm

Green daisy posy, Enamel on glass  400mm x 495mm