Werner Smith is a contemporary portrait artist who is renowned for his exploration of the human form through the use of broad, seemingly wild brush strokes. His works depict a fascination with the broken image, and he explores various paint techniques and processes to create deeply emotional, vibrant works. His influences include Alex Kavinsky, Christian Hook, Kai Samuels Davis, and Andrew Salgado.
Werner was born in South Africa in 1972 and showed an interest in the visual arts from a young age. After school, Werner decided to pursue his passion for the African bush and went on to study nature conservation. He spent nearly two decades working as a game ranger - and eventually a lodge manager – in some of the wildest destinations in Africa, including Botswana, Mozambique, and South Africa. Much of his inspiration stems from the people he met in these remote destinations.
It was only in 2015, upon the advice of a friend, that Werner first picked up a paintbrush and started delving into the world of contemporary portraiture. This changed the trajectory of his life forever, and he made painting his profession back in 2016. In March 2018, Werner made it to the finals of the Artbox Projects 1.0 show in New York, with his work titled ‘Kirby’.
Werner’s work is exhibited on some of the most prominent online galleries, including Saatchi Art, although the majority of his sales are as a result of his own marketing efforts and social media presence.
Werner currently resides in the small countryside village of Greyton in the Western Cape, along with his wife, Chantelle, and their two sons.