Francois De Necker was fundamental is the establishing of the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Namibia where he served as an Associate Professor and Head of Department until his retirement. Having presented a solo exhibition almost every fourth year of his creative life, Francois de Necker was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2014 Bank Windhoek Triennial for his well-known career as an artist and art educator in Namibia.
An avid artist, although he refers to himself as an art student, Francois is back with another exhibition at the National Art Gallery of Namibia and 99FM’s MYD Art sat down with him to talk about how art is about communication.
“I feel like a painting has got two lives, the one of becoming art until it is finished being created and then it starts a new life where it interacts with its viewer.” Explains Francois who explains that art is always communicating with the viewer and not always in the same manner. “Somebody will buy the painting because they like the colour or the story, some are fascinated by what’s going on or maybe it’s just the title. People respond differently to something within the painting. That’s what art is all about.” Says Francois.
Having help mould many Namibian artists, Francois’ advices to fellow artists is, “If you’re passionate about it, persevere and have staying power.” He adds that knowing your market and pricing yourself correctly, and especially modestly as you establish yourself, is also critical to growing your career as an artist.
Francois’s work has been exhibited extensively throughout SADC and Europe, yet he modestly says “I’m still a student, it’s for one day when I’m am no longer here, for people to say I contributed to Namibian art. It’s not up to me to call myself an artist. I’m just a painter, who makes paintings.”
This is latest exhibition, titled Forms and Figures, brings together the two main threads that have defined much of his artistic career, focusing on form and abstracting shapes from his immediate environment. Many of these forms, drawn from the Namibian landscape, are reoccurring and have become emblems in his work.
Forms and Figures is described by the National Art Gallery of Namibia as “testimony to de Necker’s ability to create an entire story on a single plain. Paying careful attention to the forms and figures, and the relationships between them, we become immersed in a contemplative world of abstraction.”
“I have an inner necessity to paint.” Says Francois, “Everybody has that need to express themselves. Its not exclusive to artists, it’s just one of those things in life.”
Form and Figures is open at the National Art Gallery of Namibia until the 3rd of December 2016. For more information, click here