Lionel Smit, a South African artist, and sculptor are renowned not only for his large canvases and sculptures but also for his silkscreen, video and public installations. Though born in Pretoria, he currently lives and works in Cape Town, South Africa.
The art bug bit Smit during his childhood itself through his father Anton Smit, who was a sculptor and had his own studio near to his home. As a child, Smit spent his childhood in his studio. When Smit was 12, he was already adept at sculpting with clay. Sculpting was what he enjoyed immensely.
However, when Smit attained the age of 16, his parents separated. He went on to study art at Pro Arte School of Arts in Pretoria. This is when his interest in painting awakened. He used his father’s empty studio for his painting work.
Smit is one of the unique artists who blend painting with sculpture. His portraits and sculpted busts are exhibited in prestigious galleries, art fairs, and public spaces and appreciated all around the globe. Smit has received many awards and honors. While in his school in 1999, he received the best painting student award.
In 2000, he received the first prize in the MTN Art Colors Awards of Gauteng and a few more. His most recent ones are the Ministerial Award from the Department of Culture for Visual Art, Western Cape Government, and Visitor’s Choice Award, BP Portrait Award, National Portrait Gallery, London, UK, He received both in 2013.