Thursday, 15 December 2011

Classical realism, in NZ

I’ve just been to a wonderful show by two hugely talented artists at the start of their careers, artists the like of which you thought you’d never see again.
The “show was a presentation for Angela Mackie’s ‘Art History Cathedral Lectures’ – a whole enormously valuable experience on their own. So rather than listen to me, Here’s what Angela had to say about these two talented souls:
Classical Realism – Thursday 15 December 2011
Two European artists who trained (and met!) in Florence, became engaged in Paris, and married in Auckland – Jesper Sundwall and Jasmine Kamante – are our guest artists and speakers at our last lecture of the year on Classical Realism. They will be talking to you about their rich experiences training in the Classical Tradition in modern day Europe, and the journey that led them there. In addition, a selection of their drawings and paintings will be exhibited for sale at the lecture.

Jasmine Kamante, of Persian extraction, has had a passion for drawing portraits from a very young age. She began her art studies in New Zealand with a Bachelor of Visual Arts, specialising in glass and clay sculpture. Jasmine then spent three intensive years studying classical drawing and painting techniques in ateliers in Florence and Paris. Now a classically trained artist, she specialises in figurative narratives. Jasmine currently works full time in her studio in New Zealand.
    Jasmine's extensive studies of the human figure and, indeed, her own delightful personality and enquiring mind give her an empathy for her subjects which translates into accurate and honest representation of their facial expressions and body language. Her eclectic training has enabled her to blend a variety of techniques to produce exquisite work which has a sense of volume and movement.
Jesper Sundwall (above) is an artist from Stockholm, Sweden. He studied at Parsons School of Design in Paris and New York, graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours in 1997. He designed for New York clients such as Rolling Stone Magazine, Sony and Korg for six years. During this time Jesper also studied at New York Art Academy. He then went on to pursue his passion for art and hone his painting and drawing skills by studying at an atelier in Florence. He now paints full time in his studio in New Zealand.
    Jesper's body of work showcases carefully considered, representational still lifes and figures. His works display a sensitivity that animates even the most inorganic of subjects. With expertly placed brush strokes, he manages to capture the varying tactile qualities of different materials and textures so well that you want to reach out and touch the subject.

And, yes, these works and many more are for sale at Jasmine’s and Jesper’s websites.


  1. Is it possible to describe, briefly, or link, to difference between classical realism and romantic realism?

  2. Great stuff. Wish I could have been there!

  3. It is wonderful to see such life-affirming art being painted right here in New Zealand. Just shows that there are some very talented people who are there if you look for them. (Another is David Knowles from the lower North Island).

    Do they intend exhibiting their work in the near future? Thanks for posting.

    Julian (a different one from the commenter above)

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Thank you for your comments. Julian, we will definitely be exhibiting our work again next year. We have a few shows to organise, and possibly another lecture. If you would like to go onto our mailing lists, please email me via my website

    Jesper's website is here if you would like to see more of his work:

    Mark - I am going to ask Angela Mackie (who runs the Cathedral Lectures) to reply to you as she has a Doctorate in Art History and will be able to explain it much better than I can!

  6. Great stuff guys - talent is such a wonderful thing to behold.


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