David Brits is an interdisciplinary, multi-medium artist based in Cape Town. Born in 1987 he graduated from the Michaelis School of Fine Art (Painting) at the University of Cape Town in 2010. His practice spans printmaking, drawing and video. He has, over the past three years, devoted his time solely to formal investigations in public-scale sculpture. His first major public sculpture commission was launched at the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation, Masiphumelele in 2019.
Brits’ recent solo exhibitions include Sketches for the Cathedral of Johannesburg, held in 2016 at HAZARD Gallery in Johannesburg, and Snake Man, at SMITH Gallery, Cape Town, in 2015. Snake Man was a meditation on family histories in the context of pre-democratic South Africa and pays homage to the artist’s grandfather, one of the country’s top herpetologists and snake catchers from the 1950ies to the 1970ies.
In 2014 Brits was awarded a residency at the St. Moritz Art Academy, Switzerland, where he was mentored by Marcel van Eden and Daniele Buetti. Recent group shows include Words curated by Willem Boshoff at the Nirox Sculpture Park, Johannesburg, Nevermind the M*ss at A SPACE, Helsinki, Kindergeburtstag, held at the Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris. His work has featured in the academic journal Graduate Research and Reviews in the History of Art and Visual Culture (2015) and has been named as a “young artist to watch” by the South African Art Times.
Brits made his curatorial debut with Not My War, an exhibition held at the Michaelis Galleries, UCT. This acclaimed show brought together works by significant South African artists that have reflected on their country’s involvement in border wars in Northern Namibia and Southern Angola during the 1960ies to 1980ies.
Brits’ work is housed in public and private collections in both South Africa and abroad. He is a recipient of the Golden Key Society Award for Visual Art, the Irma Stern Scholarship and the Barbara Fairhead Prize.
EDUCATION: 2007 – 2010 Bachelor of Fine Art (Painting), UCT Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town SOLO EXHIBITIONS: 2016 Sketches for the Cathedral of Johannesburg, HAZARD Gallery, Johannesburg 2015 Snake Man, SMITH Gallery, Cape Town 2013 1969, Grande Provance Gallery, Franschoek 2011 VICTOR VICTOR, Brundyn +, Cape Town SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS: 2017 Salad, Smith Gallery, Cape Town 2017 Cape Town Salon, AVA Gallery, Cape Town 2017 Words, Curated by Willem Boshoff, Nirox Sculpture Park, Cradle of Humankind, Johannesburg 2016 Bring Your Own Beamer IV, Gallery Momo, Cape Town 2016 1k – 4.0, 1k – 5.0, 1k – 6.0, City Guns, Cape Town 2016 From Whence They Came, SMITH Gallery, Cape Town 2016 Kindergeburtsdag 2016, Wallmannstr.