Jonathan van der Walt is a visual artist based in Nelson Mandela Bay, Eastern Cape, South Africa, focusing his practice primarily within the discipline of sculpture. He was born in Kimberley, Northern Cape in 1991. In 2013 he received his Bachelor’s degree, cum laude, in Fine Art (Sculpture) at Nelson Mandela University, in which he explored the blurred lines between high and low art within contemporary society. This exploration became the launching pad for research into craftsmanship in contemporary art, which was the major theme in his Master’s of Fine Art (Sculpture) dissertation. He was awarded his Master’s in April 2017.
Jonathan works mainly in the mediums of resin and bronze casting. His sculptures are naturalistic and conceptually tongue-in-cheek. He predominantly sculpts figurative subjects, but the aesthetic and medium of his work is dependent on its theme and concept. He has worked at a variety of scales, ranging from small-scale sculptures and 3D prints to large-scale public sculpture, boardroom focal pieces and life-size commissions.
His inspiration comes from his tactile love of form, the object in space, the presence it holds and power in its contours. His passion lies in embodying these objects with a sense of wonder and intrigue whilst situating them in a contemporary space through parody, appropriation and irony. The traditional processes of sculpting, and the rightful acknowledgment of the work of craftspeople in the visual arts sphere, are very important.