Marc Poisson

For more than thirty years Marc Poisson has established for himself a loyal following for his painterly depiction of someof South AFrica's most beloved icons. He shares his thoughts and feelings about his work and what motivates him:
"For me fine art, like music, should not only stimulate the mind but also the emotions. Capturing that special, almost indefinable quality of light can elevate a work of art to a level which commands attention and reverberates with the senses by virtue of its sheer beauty.

Thus by convincingly evoking the atmosphere created by the play of light on a subject painted, I seek to involve the viewer emotionally with it. It is this, I believe, which surpasses the importance of the devices and techniques used in the creation of my art."


SUBJECTS: Marc Poisson, now in the autumn of his life, has emerged as one of the mot well-known artists in South Africa. He consistently captures atmospheric light in scenes of typically South African subjects which hark back to a more peaceful, leisurely era. This view seems to be substantiated by his aversion to many of the things we associate with modern life. For example, one seldom sees a motor vehicle in his street scenes and sometimes even bitumen roads are often replaced with the old gravel farm roads.

Most of the subjects he paints are of historical significance, almost as if he were creating his works of art for posterity. Poisson paints many of the well known Cape homesteads typically found in wine producing areas, as well as scenes of the traditional 'trek' fishing. Donkey carts on dusty roads, the time ravaged buildings of District Six and the quaint historical mining village of Pilgrims Rest are among his many varied subjects.

Examining these various subjects, one perceives the way this artist uses light to underscore the importance of scenes as if to etch them into our national psyche as though they need to be cherished and preserved for future generations. Even the humble fisherman's cottages with their characteristic but often dilapidated white-washed walls and roughly constructed thatch roofs seem to stand out and dominate their surroundings as if to establish their importance in the Cape landscape.

TECHNIQUE: From close observation of his work he obviously enjoys thick paint on canvas, and the textures which result from use of the palette knife. Often there is evidence of scumbling with the knife combined with bold impasto brush work. When timber boards are occasionally used as a support interesting textures are achieved in the priming stage enhancing the end result.

While his colours are not garish they are often quite strong and striking, particularly when depicting passages of light and shade or in some of his dramatic sky scenes. Harmony of colour is what is strived for. 

AT PRESENT: Poisson finds his work in demand as he divides his time between South Africa and Australia. Private collections where his artworks are enjoyed include not only South Africa but other countries such as Israel, Portugal, Austria, United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, United States, Japan and Australia.

Now in the prime of his career, Poisson studies and travels, constantly seeking to fuel the inspiration needed to create images that strike a chord with so many.