About Johan Hoekstra
Since childhood, Johan Hoekstra has been passionate about drawing animals, birds and the South African landscape. Throughout his life he has been taking trips to the bush at every opportunity; observing, sketching and photographing wildlife – both fauna and flora.
After studying architecture and graphic design, Johan embarked on a distinguished career in advertising, winning a host of international and local awards. Tiring of the grueling life in big business, he created his own design studio, specialising in design consulting, book design and illustration. Commissions for his paintings started coming in from the late 1980’s and this pointed to a whole new career. Since then Johan has amassed a truly impressive collection of works.
Johan Hoekstra is noted for his fidelity to nature and his phenomenal sense of observation, through which he can express, with startling accuracy, the character and body language of any bird or animal.
His paintings hang in corporate and private collections in Southern Africa, the Middle and Far East, Australia, the USA, the UK and Europe. His works have been auctioned in Christies prestigious wildlife art department and today he mostly paints commissions for discerning collectors.
To nature lovers and art enthusiasts
This prolific artist is recognised as being one of the very best wildlife artists working today. In spite of the temptation to emigrate, Johan elected to stay in South Africa. He has steadfastly refused to forsake everything that inspires him here; its fauna and flora are, after all, his muses. The South African art scene is certainly richer for his contribution to wildlife art.
Johan’s paintings are to be found on every continent. Among his clients are companies like:
- First National Bank
- Savanna Private Game Reserve.
Among individuals who own his works you’ll find, to name but a few, a cattle rancher in Australia, the Countess da Mosto of Venice, a very wealthy Arab shiek, an Irish barrister, a game lodge owner in Botswana, an engineer in Tanzania and two well-heeled Texans.
A painting can take weeks, sometimes months, paying careful attention to every element in the picture. The accurate anatomy of a leopard’s paw, the botanically correct use of trees, the intricate angle of afternoon light – all the features that make the painting true to nature and therefore, a thing of value.
It stands to reason then, that there are usually only a select few of his pictures for sale. For many years Johan has been painting commissions for clients who wanted an original that they themselves had a hand in creating. However, he occasionally feels the need to create personal wildlife studies and many of the original paintings available now were done to satisfy this creative itch.
Galleries have mostly had to do without as there was seldom enough stock to mount an exhibition, although works have been auctioned through Christies. Every painting, drawing and sculpture was crafted with the same passionate commitment to quality and realism.
Great wildlife art will never go out of fashion. Indeed, artists like Johan Hoekstra are true recorders of the emmence beauty in our fragile world. It is poignant then that their paintings will likely outlive many of our most threatened and endangered species, so enjoy the visual journey of vewing a beautiful collection of work and an artistic celebration of our unique and wonderful heritage.