Nine year old artist reproduces famous Vincent Van Gogh self-portrait

The Gallery was very lucky to have the work of young Eli Williams on exhibition recently as part of our In With The New Exhibition.

At the young age of nine, Eli is set to make a stir in art circles in the coming months and years if his current level of talent is anything to go by. Eli, who has only just celebrated his ninth birthday, is an extremely talented grade 3 pupil at Sweet Valley Primary in Cape Town

who has been drawing and painting since he was three years old and is demonstrating rare skills at such a young age. This pint sized artist, who aspires to become a professional artist, and a robotics engineer, when he grows up, says he first started working with pencils and paper and then water colours.

His most recent artwork is an exceptional oil on canvas painting of Vincent Van Gogh. In With The New required that the participating artists put their own contemporary spin on classic artworks found in museums and collections around the world. It was this, coupled with his love for Vincent Van Gogh’s work that inspired Eli to recreate Van Gogh’s self-portrait of himself without a beard.

In the artists words, “the painting is about the size of my little brothers, Charlie and Sam – if they stand next to each other.” “I like the way Van Gogh paints – you don’t blend in each brush stroke. He’s just free in the way he paints and I love that,” says Eli, who also says that he is inspired by seeing a pencil and blank piece of paper and being able to use it. “I wish I had more spare time to draw and paint.”

Eli’s talent seems to be a family trait as his grandmother is Therese Mullins, a renowned Cape Town based artist who has been a top achiever in the Sanlam Portrait Awards and most recently was a finalist in the 2017 Living Portrait Master Competition. Eli’s grandfather, Allan Mullins, has been a friend of Astrid’s since childhood and Astrid says it is wonderful to watch such talent developing in Eli. “I suspect he will go far and hope that The Gallery can form part of his springboard.”

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