Russell Travers (1960 – )

Russell Travers

(1960 – )

Russell Travers was born in Cape Town in 1960. He grew up in Cape Town but in 1981 he left South Africa to travel to Sweden as a refugee, where he also received asylum. In Sweden he worked as an art director for various advertising agencies. He work for Svenskt Film as presenter for a satellite television program which was co- produced by Sky TV. He also did some travelling throughout Scandinavia where he interviewed pop and rock personas, as well as generally reviewing the pop culture scene. In 1998 Travers opened a daylight studio in Cape Town. He used it as a base for his large format oil paintings, as well as renting the studio location to production companies for use in both the fashion and film industries. Since then his work output has steadily increased and he has sold extensively to art buyers through various galleries in South Africa and internationally.

Travers has described his art process as they way in which he paints out the ideas that accumulate in his mind. He creates layers of meaning and texture; some taken from other artists, some known, some random street artists and the drawings of children. He often takes images from books, from station walls and the scrawled on buildings of inner- city ghettos. He also uses insects, birds, the human body and delicate 19th century encyclopaedia illustrations.

Travers uses many schools of thought; such as mathematical formulas, the printed writings of political journalists and politicians, ancient graffiti, chemical structures and architectural plans. He then defaces them in an attempt to make them his own.