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Brian Rolfe


Brian Rolfe started his career in 1992 as a forensic artist in the South African Police Service. This gave him the opportunity to experience the technical side of producing art and his main line of work centred on facial identification and scull reconstruction. In this unit of the S.A.P.S the study of the human anatomy became very important which gave Brian the much-needed background to produce his own art.

After leaving the S.A.P.S in 1994 Brian started a small commercial art studio in JHB, catering to the South African film and interior design industry. During this period Brian worked mostly on projects that involved reproducing paintings, creating scenic art backdrops, sculpting props and designing of sets for a variety of TV commercials, stage productions and feature films.

In 2003 Brian had his first exhibition of original work: “Rhythm and Energy of the Earth” which focussed on his interest in the spiritual awakening of people in Africa in relation to the earth’s energy. The exhibition had a strong ethnic appeal and was a huge stepping-stone in Brian’s development as artists.

Brian has taken part in various group exhibitions overseas including; “Perceptions Of Reality” Ico Gallery, New York in 2009. "In Vivid Color" Gallery-M, Euro – Asian Art Center Vienna and in Australia in 2012.

Brian was commissioned in 2007, to do paintings for British soccer star, Ashley Cole and his wife, pop sensation, Sheryl Cole.

In 2009 Brian was commissioned by Kevin Fick, owner of the Del Conte Suite at the Michel Angelo Hotel in Sandton to do a painting for FIFA President, Sepp Blatter . On 24 June 2009, Brian presented the gift to Mr. Blatter at the Michelangelo Towers in Sandton, where he stayed during his time in South Africa. An enthusiastic audience of FIFA representatives was present. “It was a truly moving moment when I witnessed how touched Mr. Blatter was by this image. He instantaneously grasped my message and announced that the painting will find a special place in his home. It once again shows the power of an image to share a vision.”

Brian also completed commissions for Hollywood Actress, Embeth Davidtz, British soccer star, Kieron Dyer and South African actress, Brumilda van Rensberg.

His reputation and status as an artist have grown over the last 10 years and he is fast becoming a force to be reckoned with in the world of contemporary art.

Artist Statement

"I call my work "Glimpses of Africa" as I am surrounded by the African Landscape where I live in Johannesburg, South Africa. I only have to drive about 30 minutes and “I am in the South African Bush. The Landscape inspires me. It is as if it has a certain pulse, a drumbeat and a very definite energy. Trees are at the centre of my work because they are an integral part of the African Landscape and are also a traditional meeting place for many tribes on the continent especially around and below trees like Baobab, Acacia, Mopane and Leadwoods. This painting is inspired by the dramatic thunderstorms in the South African Bushveld area where I spend many holidays. It signifies a moment in time when everything becomes still before the storm and birds scatter in the sky and you sense a static energy in the air. It is also seen from the perspective of a bird's eye view in that you cannot see the horizon in the frame. I have a very strong connection with Africa, the landscape and people that keep inspiring my work. My work is a celebration of life and the power of the universe. I have grown to express a feeling or mood rather than a realistic representation of the world we live in. We have such a strong connection with the universe but it is often masked by our striving for existence and survival. I expect my audience, when they see my work, to be triggered by something they know so well but have neglected to acknowledge for some time; To awaken in them a feeling or memory of the past that will strengthen their connection with the earth and their reason for living."