Justin Started painting at the age of 10, of Eastern European background, his grandparents on both sides immigrated from Lithuania and Latvia at the end of the 19 century.
On matriculating, he studied graphic design at the Johannesburg School of Art. On completing his studies, he worked as a designer in both Johannesburg and London for a leading advertising agency.
His international travels have taken him to, amongst other countries, Eastern Europe and America, where he was greatly influenced by the Naive school of painting.
He has participated in several group exhibitions, and in 1983 had his first solo exhibition. This was followed by a successful exhibition in Greenwich Villiage, New York in 1985.
He has works hanging in private collections in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, Stockholm, Sydney, Rio de Janeiro, Vienna, Brussels, London, Tel Aviv, Amsterdam, Auckland and Berlin. Subsequently, he has held many one man exhibitions in Johannesburg and Cape Town resulting in a vast array of commissions for private buyers as well as gallery owners.
His work illuminates the Wooltru boardroom in Cape Town, as well as Virgin Atlantic Airways offices in Johannesburg. He has had work sold at Christies in London and has painted two pictures for Swedish Actress Britt Ekland for her private collection in Los Angeles.
His paintings have graced the covers of Readers Digest and 16 of his works have been reproduced as a series for upmarket greeting cards. Justins paintings are happy colourful, and fun, paying special attention to detail, choosing his subject matter from every day happenings as well as creating situations in his mind which he translates onto canvas.
During the course of 2015, Justin has been invited to exhibit in renowned galleries in Berlin, Copenhagen, Brussels, Istambul, Barcelona, Funchal-Madeira and Vienna.
A little red heart is hidden in all his paintings. Naive art is a manifestation of joy, taking us back into the Garden of Eden where all life began. The purity and beauty has been stolen from many of us by the intellect. The popularity of his art is understandable. He brings ease and modesty to his work, planting the seeds for an intimate and celebratory way of seeing the contemporary world.
Justin responds to life by portraying it in its simplicity, naivety, and humour. Justin resides and paints in Johannesburg.
Justin Abelman: website