Herman van Aerde, known in the artworld as Herman van Nazareth, was born on 6 November 1936 in Evergem, Flanders and grew up in occupied Belgium during WWII.
The horrors of WWII, witnessed as a young child, undoubtedly played a significant role in shaping his social conscience.
Van Nazareth came to South Africa in 1965, with a scholarship, to study art at Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town and subsequently made South Africa his home.
He was averse to inhumanity and abuse of power and took a strong stance against the culture of social injustice, with its forceful and often brutal oppression of people of color prevalent in his adoptive country, using his art to speak out against it. Van Nazareth is known as the first “protest” artist in South Africa.
Work in foreign countries:
Aspects of my early work are still characteristic of my present style - the use of lacquer, the application of thin layers of paint that often reveal the base or ground colour, and the use of subtle colour harmonies and simple yet expressive compositions – I believe that is me!