Rogerio de Andrade

Rogerio de Andrade - 001 Photo (640)

ROGERIO DE ANDRADE – “I suppose my first influence and interest in drawing characters started at about the age of ten with Hergés Tin Tin. His illustrated adventures have always fascinated me. I collected and read all of his comic books. I enjoyed them so much that soon I was copying his style of drawing.

I invented my own stories and illustrated them too, “a la Hergé”. I used a black pen and colour pencils. Instead of studying during study sessions, I drew little “mannetjies”. All this happened in around 1967 in a hostel at the White River Primary School.

The enjoyment of drawing and creating characters followed me into high school. I designed all the covers for “Our Best” the school magazine and made lots of drawings for my buddies. It was then that friends suggested I study art. I had no clue what I was in for. With great trepidation I applied and was accepted in 1974 to study at the Pretoria College of Education (Technikon). My main area was Graphic Design, but my best subject was illustration.

After graduating with a diploma in Graphic Design, I joined the army for a period of two years. During this time I had many opportunities to draw (war posters) and illustrate (propaganda stories). In 1979 after my army service, I joined an advertising company in Johannesburg as a junior designer. I worked under the wing of Antero Machado, one of the company directors, who was both designer, illustrator and muralist (highly figurative work). From 1980 onwards, I worked in a variety of design studios where I was able to sharpen my cartooning and illustration skills by doing work for a variety of clients (magazines) in the disciplines mentioned above. I was now doing what I enjoyed best.

The decision to put my work on canvas instead of paper was a natural progression. This kicked off my painting career in the “finer” arts (around 1984). I worked full time and managed to find time to take part in group exhibitions in all types of galleries.

My work has a definite graphic flavour as a result of my design background. I use layout and composition for dramatic effect and also in some cases to accentuate my idea. I work according to themes that afford me the possibility of maximum entertainment. The topics can be absolutely anything under the sun. From the dog next door to the gangster over the road. The idea is to take any mundane subject matter and always try to give it a little twist. Many artists like Basquiat, Cienfuegos and Ralph Steadman, among others, have influenced my work. I must have fun when working, if that fun element is not there, what’s the point?” says Rogerio De Andrade.

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