Andre Stead

André Stead is one of South Africa’s most diverse artists, unconventional, prolific and understated, yet his work has reached the recesses of collector’s galleries worldwide. His work is empathetic with a reverence for the human experience.

He defies convention favouring freedom of expression over expected narratives and his work carries a powerful emotional undertone. Born in Evander in 1975, Stead attended art classes from the age of 6 as therapeutic relief from severe dyslexia. Here he discovered his love for art and a way to express himself without the language barrier, starting a life long journey to master the art of speaking without words. His talent afforded him a space at the prestigious Pro Arte School of Arts in Pretoria where he focused on painting and drawing. He graduating with honours and had work accepted in the Iscor permanent collection during his last year at art school.

Soon after art school Stead started focusing primarily on sculpture, after his wife famously surprised him one day with a log and an axe prompting him to start making sculptures. Over the following years Stead meticulously worked his way through each sculpture medium from wood to clay all the way through to iron and bronze. After a decade of acquiring practical knowledge on materials and sculpture mediums, Stead had teamed up with Otto Du Plessis to develop the Bronze Age Art Foundry. During this period he gained expert knowledge of moulding and the lost wax casting process, as well as unprecedented exposure to the greater art world.

In 2007 Stead went trough a devastating divorce that prompted him to dedicate all his time to the development of original artwork. Four year later his ex-wife passed away making him a single farther of three boys. With all the odds stacked up against him Stead worked and parented harder than ever and produced an impressive body of work over the course of a decade. In this period his focus shifted towards modern materials like resin and carbon fibre composites and plexiglass. In 2011 Stead created a large scale installation artwork for Laurence Graaf initiating a new branch of site specific sculptural installations that would quickly become a popular narrative.

Stead's graceful figures and vibrant installation artworks have earned him a reputation for delivering work of exceptional quality with creative ingenuity and skill. His work has an etherial quality due to the fact that he is not only representing the physical form but simultaneously the form of the mind and the heart.

"For him, human connection is not only possible by reaching outward into the world, it is all the more profoundly possible by turning inward and finding a universe of possibility within ourselves. It is for this reason that I regard Stead as a sculptor of the ethical heart and mind."

- Ashraf Jamal

1975 -
Nationality: South African
Residence: Cape Town
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