To make it in art you need ambition and ego, as well as talent. Sean had ambition and flair, but his ego was balanced by knowing that he would have to really work on his painting. Twenty years on, he now sells to collectors as far as New York.

This week, we meet Sean Knipe, a Durban-based contemporary artist, as he shares his journey in abstract art and how his works have been displayed in galleries, homes, and countless interiors for over 20 years.

Sean’s love started at the ripe age of nine-years-old when he began dabbling with different mediums.

“I wasn’t gifted at the time, I had to practice hard, I had to experiment a lot and allow myself to grow,” he explains. It was only later in life that Sean started doing abstract art but originally, he was a graffiti artist. 

Prior to becoming an artist, he went to Durban University of Technology where he studied Graphic Design. 

“Graphic design has influenced my art in a way that it has helped me work with shapes, it has also helped me become more selective when using colours.”

With regards to the inspiration behind his work, Sean draws from nature in terms of colour and texture. Majority of his works are oil-based as it provides a richer finish in comparison to acrylic-based paints. 

The technique used to create his art varies from painting to painting. The two most frequent techniques used are dirty pour and clean pour.

Sean’s paintings have been bought by prominent figures including recording artist Keri Hilson, to makers of famous sports cars. It has also been displayed in countless interiors including Ocean Vista Boutique Guest House.

Located in Ridge Road, Umhlanga, Ocean Vista Boutique Guest House offers unique contemporary design style accommodation overlooking the breaktaking views of the Indian Ocean. 

Displayed across the guest house are some of Sean’s unique pieces that have added to the warm ambiance of the accommodation.

“I enjoy the freedom that comes with creating abstract art, it allows you to create as you feel,” says Sean.

“Every art piece is different in the sense that I try to evoke emotion into my paintings, I always like for people to feel something, to connect.”

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