Listen: Creative Portchie’s art as colorful as SA


Portchie, a world-renowned and extremely successful South African artist, has already created almost 19,000 original works of art in his career. He has already presented a few international exhibitions and it seems that the popularity of his paintings increases every year.

Over the years, Portchie has established and expanded a brand that is affordable and accessible to a wide market, from students to art enthusiasts.

Although it was not easy to get his foot in the door in the beginning, with numerous galleries turning him and his art away, Portchie continued courageously.

If one polls him about his view of the success he experiences today, he does not measure it by the amount of paintings he has sold, the money he earns from them or the fact that he is world famous.

Success, Portchie believes, is when he can bring people together with his artistic talent, build relationships and get opportunities in the business world.

“It all comes down to faith,” says Portchie. From his childhood, he clings to the message of the parable of the coins in Matthew 25.

“What keeps me anchored is the knowledge that God has given me all the tools I need to live a good life. It is indeed my responsibility to use those abilities optimally.”

His colorful paintings evoke simple, everyday scenes, such as someone riding a bicycle, flowers in a vase, a market scene or people sitting and reading.

In his memoirs Portchie: From Twin to Travalgar Square which has just appeared from NB-Uitgewers, he speaks candidly about his artworks, the use and meaning of colour, criticism he had to endure about his “colorful children’s pictures” and how he learned to deal with it over time.

He writes about the business lessons he learned from his parents, but especially his mother, how his path as an artist was carved out over time, mentors and role models who shaped him and those who are still involved in his life.

One also reads how he celebrated his 60th birthday in 2023 with an exhibition in Stellenbosch’s town hall and a giant maquette at his home. This book is another of the ways in which he looks back on his life and celebrates it.

The book contains a collection of life sketches, a color appendix with photographs of 60 of his favorite works of art and an appendix with 12 sculptures that stand out to him, as well as a few photographs that help color his story.

Portchie: From Twin to Travalgar Square cost R 295 (price subject to change). Click here to purchase the book from Graffiti Books.

  • Listen to an interview with Portchie at the top of the report.