Chris Denovan

Chris Denovan

Cape Town | 10 artworks for sale

At art school I wasn’t very honest with myself - how can you make art if you're not interested in looking in the one place where it lives; YOU!

Having left art school I was disillusioned and felt lost in the art world. I turned my back on painting and tried to move forward to something else. So I studied and worked in animation. This semi worked for 5 years, and while I didn’t touch a brush to canvas, I did start to learn more about me.

Then one day someone very close to me died and life did a somersault which resulted in me picking up a brush once more. Painting again never felt so right. I resigned from my job as an animator, made an art studio for myself and started to create art again. This time with a more mature and honest approach. Gerhard Richter once said; 'Art is like religion; You only know it once you've lost it'. This rang true to me and I knew I was meant to be a painter and nothing else.

N.Dip Fine Art (Ruth Prowse School Of Fine Art)

Christopher Denovan was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1983. He graduated from Ruth Prowse with a body of work focusing on Portraiture depicting Prejudice and Discrimination in gender and ethnicity. In 2006 Chris began studies at 'The Animation School' where he went on to win the 'Best Concept Characters' prize and graduated with two internationally recognised certificates in Maya and 3D studio Max.
In 2008 Chris signed on at the animation studio 'Clockwork Zoo' as head of the backgrounds department and animator developing international shows such as Florries Dragons, Caillou, and Mr Bebe.
In 2010 Chris left the Clockwork Zoo studios to focus on his fine art. He has exhibited his paintings in various group shows locally in South Africa while developing his own personal style. The artist was commissioned by the Danish Society of Engineers IDA på DTU to paint a portrait of their first female Chairman, Frida Frost in 2015.
In 2020 Chris was scheduled to partake in an artist residency in Spain but sadly that was dashed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Selected Exhibitions:

Solo exhibition 'Body Plants', 99 Loop Gallery, Cape Town
Solo exhibition, 'Where Two Rivers Meet', 99 Loop Gallery, Cape Town

Solo exhibition 'Big Wierdo', 99 Loop Gallery, Cape Town


Group exhibition 'Undercurrents' at StateoftheART Gallery, Cape Town
Group exhibition 'Voyage' at Art In The Yard, Franschhoek
Solo exhibition 'Lost In Known Territory', 99 Loop Gallery, Cape Town
Group exhibition: Sanlam Portrait Award 2017, University of Johannesburg Art Gallery

Group exhibition 'Untitled: Spring', StateoftheART Gallery, Cape Town
Group exhibition 'Dream Rift', Eclectica Contemporary, Cape Town
Sanlam Portrait Award Top 40, Rust-en-Vrede Gallery, Cape Town
Solo Exhibition 'Artficial Beasts', Art In The Yard, Franschhoek

Group exhibition 'Life.Body.Time', StateoftheART Gallery, Cape Town
Solo exhibition 'Breaking The Mould', Rust-en-Vrede Gallery,
Group exhibition 'Manuscript', StateoftheART Gallery, Cape Town

Solo exhibition 'Obsessed With Ourselves', StateoftheART Gallery, Cape Town


Irma Stern Museum, Cape Town
Salon 91, Cape Town
The White House, Plettenberg Bay
Pendock Wine Gallery, Cape Town
Chandler House, Cape Town
StateoftheART, Cape Town

Which new trends or South African artists do you find inspiring at the moment?
I'm the least trendy person in the world. Me as a trend is my favourite right now.
Ngobeni Blessing.
Simphiwe Ndzube.

Which South African deceased artist do you most admire and why?
Thats a hard one. I’d say Alexis Prellers. His work is complex, detailed and very unusual.

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?
Any of my dear late Mothers work would be great!

Pick three artists who you would be honored to exhibit with – and why
My Mom, Doron Langberg, Egon Shiele.

How did you get started? Did you always want to be an artist?
Ya I always wanted to be an artist. I had alot of encouragment and so I started and then I stopped and then I started again!

What are some of the key themes you explore in your work?
Beauty, Confidence, Strength, Power

What should people know about your art that they can’t tell from looking at it?
I dance and sing a lot while making my artworks.

Tell us more about your creative process.
Magicians never reveal their secrets.

Do you believe an artist should use their platform to influence society? Why?
Yes Sure. Art can influence society by changing opinions, instilling values and translating experiences across space and time

Do you have a favourite or most meaningful work?
A Portrait I did of my Parents when I was younge

What is your greatest achievement as an artist to date?
After giving up art I’d say my best achievment was getting back into and sticking in it.

What are your aspirations for the future?
World Domination.