Krisjan Rossouw grew up and lives in Cape Town, South Africa. He is a self-taught fine art photographer with no formal art or photographic training. Since he took up professional photography in 2009, his work ￼has been bought by local and international collectors.
￼He took up an apprenticeship with a large printing company after school. “Up until that point it was the closest I’ve been to being creative,” he says. A few years later he was cast as an extra in a TV commercial which introduced him to Cape Town’s fashion, film and commercials industry. This led to a series of fashion and commercial industry-related jobs, first as a model driver and chaperone, and then as a model booker, which was when he made friends with the models he photographs today.
His photography career began when his mother bought him a camera. “It was a matter of trial and error. I had no photographic lighting or equipment other than the camera, so my style developed from having to use what lighting there was – bedside lamps, fluorescent tubes – and working out a way to layer their different qualities to be able to make something new and original,” he remembers.
We chatted to Rossouw about his top tips on where to eat, watch the sun go down and what he does when he’s not behind the camera, read on while we feast your eyes on Rossouw’s fine art photography.
Favourite place to coffee in Cape Town?
Well this is a bit of a tricky one, I’m surrounded by some of the best coffee shops in town!
Haas collective for it’s vibe, or Le Peitit Tart in The Old Cape Quarter for a bit of French flair and you can’t go wrong with the original Origins Coffee on Hudson Street.
Favourite place to lunch in Cape Town?
I have four.
Tashas at the Waterfront.
Panama Jacks in the middle of the Cape Town Harbor for the freshest seafood possible.
Or sitting in the sun on the pavement outside Hemelhuis.
When its really miserable outside nothing beats a fusion Moroccan meal next to a log fire at the Casablanca-inspired Ricks Cafe in Tamboerskloof.
What are you currently listening to?
Sade. On repeat.
Book last read?
Half The Sky: How to Change the World, by Nicholas D.Kristof & Sheryl Wudunn
Describe your work in 3 words?
Strong, simple, uplifting.
We know choosing a favourite piece of work would be like asking a parent to choose a favourite child, but we are going to ask anyway. Which piece is your favourite and why?
No.4 from ‘Dark Paradise’. I think it represents the spirit of that series.
You have a few of your artworks hanging in your own home, how do you choose which pieces to hang and do you change them up?
I have a fair amount of artist proof’s which I rotate about every week, just to keep things interesting. My house In De Waterkant was build over a 150 yeas ago and there’s this beautiful original stone wall in my lounge, which was originally white, which I’ve painted black and use as my display space.
Where do you go for sundowners?
Mostly on my stoep overlooking De Waterkant heritage village. I’m really lucky to live in a beautiful historical place.
What’s on your radar?
Researching for a few new projects at the moment, so fairly varied. Also working on a major house renovation and my own gallery space to open in my home in the next year or so.
Right now there’s a piece of sculpture I saw in Paris that I’m working on getting to South Africa. Some day soon hopefully!
If you weren’t a photographer you would be?
A landscape artist.
Even though you are happiest behind your camera, what else makes Krisjan happy and excited?
Road trips, cooking with friends ,climbing up Lions Head For those just plain last days, watching dvd box sets with endless amounts of popcorn.
Name two things on your bucket list
Having an old farm cottage in the middle of nowhere.
More world travel.
Dream dinner party?
The cast of the Golden Girls
Best city in the world and why?
Italy. Isle of Capri or The Jewel of the Amalfi Coast, Positano
Cycling around the entire Island of Zanzibar, off the east coast of Africa and swimming with Wale sharks off the Coast of Mozambique.
One for Deon, Rossouw’s partner and creative at Deon Redman Creative Productions: describe Kris’s work in one sentence?
Alluring, sensual, engaging.