David Kuijers was born in Vanderbijlpark in 1962 of Dutch immigrant parents. His father was a part –time artist who painted under the pseudonym, B Arteld. Surrounded from a very young age by art materials and books, especially a pile of Walter T .Foster’s “How to …..”Manuals, art was always going to be a part of his life.
In 1978, he followed his brother (presently a graphic designer in Holland) into the Art, Music and ballet school in Pretoria .He completed his schooling there in 1980 with a distinction in graphics and the “Best Painter” award for that year.
In 1981 he went to Cape town for the first time on board a troop train bound for Youngsfield Military Base. Disgusted with the mentality and the attempt to subvert common sense, he absconded after 3 months- with his first pay check .After 3 years he returned and completed his military service in an administrative position – ironically receiving an award for outstanding service.
He spent 1986 as a mediocre and frustrated song writer. He entered the Cape Technicon the following year hoping to do a diploma in Fine Art, but had to settle for graphic design as the former was discontinued.
David Majored in illustration and received a Merit Award for 1989 Graduating. 1990 he married Dina, a fellow student. After his studies he freelanced as a designer / illustrator and printed greeting cards for gift shops and craft markets. During these years he had some success as an artist but not enough to ensure a living.
Some large commissions helped to ease the transition to a full time artist in 1999. Notable commissions include: The President’s Hotel, The Radisson Hotel, Medi –Clinics, Tiger Brand Foods, Dole and Princess Foods.
In 2002 a book on Cape Town, entitled “David Kuijers paints the town” was published. In 2004 he worked with De Montford Fine Art, Britain, where he was included in their “Ultimate Collection” Series. In 2004 /2005 he opened a gallery in partnership with Hout Bay Gallery and Hout Bay Framers in Hout Bay, Cape Town.
Cape Town is unusual. It seems staged. Oceans and mountains conspire with the weather to create a dramatic and sometimes moody setting. It is a city with a view, an outdoors, a leisurely place, an evocative place. In short, a good place to paint. Through painting I can engage with this physical environment in ever new and fresh ways. For me, the city is an external departure point for a journey of unknown and tantalizing possibilities. At the end of every painting I am a little different. When I paint I leave for a place of exaggerated awareness, of relaxed concentration, a friendlier place.
The visible results are not what Cape Town looks like, but an inkling of what it feels like. The images are for me, and hopefully for others, something positive and life affirming.
Matisse, who lived through both wars, said that he aims for an art that is like a comforting influence, a mental balm, something like a good armchair in which one rests from physical fatigue.
David currently lives in Greyton, a small town, an hour and a half from Cape Town, with his wife and 3 children. He has a permanent exhibition space in association with Scarlet Gallery
David Kuijers, graphic designer, illustrator, became a full time artist in 1999. He has featured in prominent exhibitions in South Africa and in De Montford Fine Art's "Ultimate Collection" in Britain. His commissions are in The President and Radisson Hotels and in many corporate collections. A book on Cape Town entitled "David Kuijers paints the Town" was published in 2002.