Christiaan Pretorius is an artist who works across boundaries: as a painter, muralist and theatre artist. His education in his native South Africa developed his keen draftsmanship and concise, graceful composition.
Before emigrating to the US, he was one of South Africa’s most prominent theatre designers and directors: his lush, visually stunning productions were presented at the famous Market theater, South African State Theatre and various Opera and Ballet venues across the country. At the same time he exhibited paintings and drawings in numerous successful gallery shows in Cape Town and Johannesburg.
Upon arrival in Chicago, Christiaan translated his bold painterly style into murals for interior design. He quickly became one of the most respected and recognized mural artists in the area. He continued to paint his personal work along with client commissions, keeping a fresh sensibility while working in a wide range of styles.
Christiaan’s work was shown at the South African National Gallery in 2010, and two short films he directed were screened at the Cannes Film Festival Fringe in 2012. Christiaan has always had a love for both classical and contemporary art, and sees no reason why the one should exclude the other.
In 2014 he won an Acanthus award from the Institute for Classicism in Architecture and Art, for his grisaille landscape paintings in a residence at 1500 Lake Shore Drive. Those paintings gave rise to his current series of large scale landscape canvases.