Hugo Maritz


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Full Biography

Born in Windhoek in 1975, Hugo obtained a BA (Philosophy and Psychology) degree at the Rand Afrikaans University after matriculating at Linden High School in Johannesburg. Although he never studied art, he started drawing at age 3. In 1993 well-known arts critic and lecturer Nico van Rensburg took him under his wing and taught him more about composition and painting.

As a child, Hugo, spent a most of his time drawing comic strip characters, which is where he developed his sense of proportion. As his ability grew, his style developed towards realism, which laid an important foundation for his future work. He has since moved towards a more abstract and cubist style in his paintings.

Hugo joined the Rossouw Modern in 1996 at age 23, and is part of the main stable of the gallery. Hugo has done 12 solo exhibitions with Rossouw Modern and 3 in Johannesburg. The sixth solo was in association with The Philip Harper Gallery in Hermanus, and his seventh launching Exhibitions @ Groot Constantia in 2006. Hugo had his very successful tenth solo exhibition on the 2nd of December 2011, once more in Constantia. His 12th solo was one of the main events at the first Fynarts Festival in 2013 in Hermanus. He has an enthusiastic following in South Africa and abroad, with works in private and corporate collections worldwide. He is currently represented in 7 major galleries in South Africa.

Hugo returned to Hermanus in 2010 where he is currently living with his fiance and son, Dawid

“Inspiration is a myth…inspiration only happens when one pushes oneself with a mixture of intellect, emotion and very hard work. With art, you have to give everything. I spend my time meditating or painting. That’s all I do.”


Style Statement

Visual arts should be about encouraging people to look. A painting should not require a title or knowledge of the artists’ intent. A successful work captures the eye the way nature does. It is created nature. I imagine stylization as an ever constricting area of possibilities. There are so many things one can accomplish with paint alone that it would be a shame not to experiment further. Otherwise I would lose interest.

I enjoy painting myths, mostly non-existent ones. A deeper understanding comes with some superstition. By myths I mean personifications of themes that have bearing on human nature.

It is almost as if you observe in yourself from the third person perspective while also being intimately involved. The final work is revealed rather than achieved. This should not create the belief that the artist’s affects are random. They are precise and almost predetermined. They must be discovered like the destination on a path. You might say the artist show is defined by how well he stays on track. It should be a vital and intuitive process requiring every faculty.

Like everything else, painting is a process of making a noise and returning to emptiness. Finding something pretty and painting over it. People always ask me where my inspiration comes from. It comes from an endless dissatisfaction with my work. Am I working towards something? Certainly. It is not a style or a method that I am pursuing, rather a way of painting. When I lose all awareness of myself in my activity, when I wholeheartedly participate in what I do, then I will have attained success.


Art should go beyond skill but not be divorced from it.