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Personal Fragments of Ronel Kellerman

Posted on June 13, 2013.

Ronel Kellerman, Summertime II, 2012
Oil on board (400 x 600mm)

Ronel Kellerman explores the different fragments of social realities, interested in how people interact with his/her surroundings, the specific, personal characteristics of a face and objects and settings that are intriguing. Her works capture moments in time similar to a photograph where the viewer gets a glimpse of the mood and feeling of a quiet, ordinary moment in a familiar and recognizable milieu.

Kellerman was born in 1974 and grew up in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga. She studied at the University of Pretoria and graduated in 1996 with a BA degree in Fine Arts. She went on doing mural painting and commercial commissions, working with a company called Decorating Africa including works for the Lesedi cultural village near Lanseria and the Shakaland cultural village, Eshowe. She had works on various murals and commissioned paintings that range from portraits, landscapes and wildlife. In 1999, she started at Dionysus Sculpture Works (DSW) in Gauteng with only the very basic first year knowledge of sculpture. She developed an interest in patina work and specialized in colour manipulation on metals, specifically bronzes. Patina is the manipulation of 'rust' on bronzes through the application of heat and various chemicals. While working at DSW, I created a few sculptures of her own. Around 2005, she began painting full-time and held her first (group) exhibition at the end of 2005 at Vior gallery in Brooklyn, Pretoria.

Ronel Kellerman, Nude in lowlight, 2010
Oil on board (600 x 1000mm)

With the use of light, she creates a feeling of ambiance on her nude figures, using intense colours in the surrounding environment or the delicate pattern on draped fabric. Her work revolves around moments in time, figures and mood that reminds the viewer of their own personal experiences and sentimentality. She often uses close friends as models adding an intimate and personal atmosphere for both the artist and the models. Her deep interest in art granted her exposure to various forms of aesthetic expression and emphasis on storytelling.

Described as a strong portraitist and use of vibrant colours, her current exhibition at Kievits Kroon in Pretoria East, 'Getting There' which runs until 23 June 2013, is based on a recent trip to Mozambique where Kellerman sought to capture the innocence and simplicity of everyday life, using mostly young girls as models, underpinned by poverty and violence.

Ronel Kellerman, Four Ngunis, 2013
Oil on board (800 x 1200mm)

Her upcoming exhibition, 'Scenes of Space: An Exhibition of Interiors' explores traditional relationships between objects and spaces which can provide one with a sense of comfort and reassurance. Kellerman explores her own thoughts and positions on the notion of the interior through her depiction of the inside of a barbershop. It opens at Intoto Gallery in Johannesburg on 18 July 2013 and runs until 19 August 2013. Kellerman's works focus on the concept of emotion and personal connection than intellectual meaning or social commentary. The works offer a personal view into the artist's own thoughts but also a view into the details of human nature that the viewers are able to understand and relate to on an intimate level.


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