Thijs Nel – "Box (Inner Windows)"

by Cindy Paul

Thijs Nel uses his art as a central coping mechanism for life itself. For this painter, art is "a means of coming to terms with my immediate environment." Art is, in fact, an excellent bridge between the inner and the outer world, and Thijs seeks out a vibrant, living balance in each and every canvas he creates.

Most of Nel’s work are done in oil or acrylics, but there are some mixed media offerings, and even ceramic stoneware pieces. He consistently sticks to a contemporary abstract style, evoking the viewers’ interest through color, rhythm, and pure skill.

"Box (Inner Windows)" is an intriguing acrylic on cardboard with a white background. The box is the one and only subject, and is portrayed realistically in shades of brown and grey, a perfect representation of a very interesting box, indeed. Each side of this cube has shapes resembling windows, so that the viewer wants, above all, to enter into this extraordinary environment.

Because the perspective and realistic treatment are so nicely carried out, and because the box is on a totally white background, the viewer tends to keep thinking it’s a three-dimensional sculpture he’s seeing, and not a painting.

The window theme pops up in Nel’s work often. "Window Variations" is another extremely subtle abstract with geometric shapes in pale-to-pastel colors.

Thijs Nel is a well-known name in the South African art community and among several upscale collectors. He offers a large gallery on SouthAfricanArtists.com in a wide price range.