It merely takes a brief time with Abe to learn that he questions everything society accepts as the norm. As a deeply philosophical thinker, Abe’s art reveals a sensitive understanding of human nature, an appreciation of the mundane as well as the profound and an observation of the unobvious. Abe’s work serves to remind us to look again, to pause, to experience the moment with all our senses, and to find beauty in everyday occurrences.
Using mostly black and white, sometimes with the appearance of very symbolic patches of colour, Abe reflects the world through the eyes of his inner child and paints visual recollections of his unique encounters with the ordinary and extraordinary, which is inherent in everything, every situation, every colour, every creature, every landscape.
Abe’s paintings are more than mere depictions of his subject matter – they are an invitation to reconsider modern life’s preoccupation with materialism, consumerism, pollution, violence, ego, power and condemnation of others. His art is an appeal to return to innocence, where peace and tolerance and creativity abound.
Abe is a fierce proponent of feminism, loyalty, freedom of speech and a lover of nature. He harbours a sincere hunger for the exploration of undiscovered beauty and immensely dislikes anything superficial or pretentious. Careful consideration of his art reveals a love for flowers, trees, alluring landscapes, Eastern philosophy and Japan, children at play and the complexity of human beings. His longing to change our perspective back to child-like wonder is inherent within every piece of art, and through his paintings, he implores the onlooker to journey beyond their comfort zone, beyond the walls they have built up, in order to open their eyes to the magic surrounding them.
Through his art, Abe Opperman aims to re-awaken our senses to the incredible world we so often take for granted, to re-ignite our passion for a life filled with marvelous treasures waiting to be discovered and to remind us to treat every creature and its surroundings with the utmost respect and reverence. His message is loud and clear: It is not a right to wander this breathtaking planet of ours. It is a privilege.
Born 1961 in the Free State, South Africa, Abe recalls his childhood as a magical experience filled with wonder, discovery and freedom having grown up on an idyllic farm with a beautiful typical English garden and surrounded by towering trees and majestic mountain ranges. Abe started painting when he was about 14, encouraged by one of his father’s friends, who was an artist.
After matriculating in 1979, Abe proceeded to complete his military service. He then decided to study Fine Art and Fashion Design at the Pretoria Technikon. In 1994, he opened a flower shop in Johannesburg, with the vision of creating ‘the most beautiful floral arrangements in the country’. Today, Hoy P’loy Flowers and Interiors also houses the Abe Opperman Gallery, which was opened in 2010, followed by a Cape Town branch in 2016. Both galleries exclusively display Abe’s artwork and have received much acclaim.