|Peter van Straten is a veteran of 20 solo exhibitions and over a hundred group shows, and is one of South Africa’s best loved painters of esoteric and philosophical themes. His paintings are immediately recognisable by their smoothness and translucency - achieved through “glazing” - the method favoured by old masters like Vermeer.
"Nothing ruins a grandiose sense of self like a hyperactive sense of irony. I am prevented therefore from uttering with any seriousness an ambition that is non-the-less heartfelt: to celebrate, with a single iconic image, each uniquely intriguing facet of human existence. This task would of course take many lifetimes, and while I might conceivably have many lives it is doubtful whether I would remember my task from one life to the next; becoming instead the postmaster at Wellington, then a bureaucrat in Bangladesh, followed by a housewife in Durban – each without the slightest interest in illustrating the human condition. For this reason I am driven by a deep sense of urgency in this lifetime – straining against the undertow of time to expand my understanding of the light bulb moments I am determined to illustrate. Luckily for me I find the story of Sisyphus more amusing than tragic, and my favourite word in the English language is Nympholepsy, which, to paraphrase the Oxford dictionary, is ecstasy or madness caused by pursuit of the unattainable.
If anything it is reassuring to know that one's journeying will never be threatened by something as crass as destination, and it is pure bliss to paint that journey."
Peter van Straten
Dream now, dream not, the annual Winter Solstice Exhibition, The Cape Gallery
Exhibition with Paula Vize and B. Ernest Manfunny at The Cape Gallery
Threshold, annual Winter Solstice exhibition at The Cape Gallery
Solo exhibition: “An invitation from the depths,” Casa Labia Gallery, Cape Town.
Group show: “Annual Wild Life Exhibition – The World We Live In: Foreign Exchanges or Subtle Connections”, Cape Gallery, Cape Town.
Group show: “Winter exhibition,” Everard Read Gallery, Cape Town
Group show: “Other Worlds” Intoto Gallery, Johannesburg.
Solo Show: “Encounters at the edge” Knysna Fine Art Gallery, Knysna.
Annual wild life exhibition at The Cape Gallery
Finalist exhibition – Sovereign Art Award Africa 2011, Joburg Art Fair
18th Solo Exhibition ”The man on the street”: Everard Read Gallery, Cape Town.
Group show: Art in mind, Brick Lane Gallery, London.
Group show: ‘15’ Everard Read Gallery
Group show: “Threshold” Everard Read Gallery, Cape Town.
Commissioned to draw five landscapes on the walls of the Da Vinci Hotel, Sandton, Johannesburg.
Group show: “Sex Power Money” Everard Read Gallery, Cape Town.
Group show: “The City” Everard Read Gallery, Cape Town.
Solo Ehibition – “The silence and the bell” – Irma Stern Museum, Cape Town
“HIV Positive” Exhibition. –Sun City
Group Exhibition – “Beyond Matter” – Menier Chocolate Factory Gallery, London
Solo Exhibition – “The Bends” – Knysna Fine Art Gallery
Solo Exhibition “Mystic Eye” – Investment Art Gallery – Cape Town
Solo Exhibition – “Luminous mysteries” David Brown Fine Art – Johannesburg.
Magazine feature: Habitat Magazine (November/December issue)
Opening group show: “David Brown Fine Art” Johannesburg.
Contributer to “The Creative Block,” Hollard insurance, Johannesburg.
Interviewed for “Kuns Kafee” SABC3.
Group show: “Ten” Everard Read Gallery, Cape Town, celebrating ten years of democracy, as part of the Cape Town Festival.
Contributes drawings to “Fooding about with Topsi”- an artists’ recipe book by renowned chef Topsi Venter.
13th Solo Exhibition – Knysna Fine Art - Knysna
Included in “The Collector’s Guide to Art and Artists in South Africa”
12th Solo Exhibition - Knysna Fine Art - Knysna
Launches satirical newspaper “The Observer”
Solo Exhibition at “Namaste” as Part of the “Walking the Street” Festival - Observatory
Featured on first Episode of “Innertainment” - SABC Featured as first “artist of the week” at launch of Global Arts Information
Featured artist in first publication of “AHUM” magazine.
Short stories included in “Urban One,” published by Spearhead.
Group Exhibition"Artists From the Cape" - Old Arts Gallery, University of Pretoria
Artichoke - "Catharsis" Exhibition - Johannesburg
Commissioned to produce a statue of the Virgin for the Roman Catholic Church - Kimberley
Collaborates in “Falling Awake” with the Heel Arts Collective for the One City Many Cultures Festival- Cape Town
Solo Exhibition - Third I Gallery
Solo Exhibition - Chelsea Gallery, Wynberg
Group Exhibition-Lightworker's Conference - New York City
Solo Exhibition "Clouds"- Amani Wine farm, Stellenbosch
Solo Exhibition "To hell with Reality" - Intecaf, Observatory
Group Exhibition - Peter Visser Antiques
Group Exhibition - Peter Visser Gallery, Cape Town
Solo Exhibition - Chalk Farm Gallery, London
Solo Exhibition- Chelsea Gallery, Wynberg
Two paintings commissioned for the home of Mr. Mac Maharaj
Solo Exhibition of "Ad-verts" at Primart, Claremont
Solo Exhibition - Mellville Visual Arts Foundation, Mellville
Matriculates from South African College Schools with full academic colours
Awarded Sanlam Student Art Award