The art of Charles Foley





Charles Foley - South African artist - (1976 to present)


Soon after graduating from The National School of Arts in Johannesburg (former Art Ballet Drama and Music School) in Johannesburg in 1994, Charles got his first job at HerdBuoys (South Africa’s first black owned advertising agency). He went on to pursue an illustrious career in creative advertising that spanned over 25 years. During this period he honed his conceptual, art direction and copywriting skills, amassing numerous local and international acknowledgments along the way, including South Africa’s first internationally acclaimed Cannes Lions Grand Prix award.


Charles’ artistic and creative expression has taken many forms over the years. Apart from painting and being recognised for his creative excellence in advertising, Charles has also performed as a musician and produced 2 albums with The Privates International Band. An avid philosopher and former member of the New Acropolis School of Philosophy South African branch, he has devoted much of his time and creative energy towards the study, teaching and practical application of philosophy over the years.


With a prolific reborn passion for painting, Charles draws on his commercial creative past experience and passion for philosophy to create beautifully crafted pieces that have a wealth of depth and consideration to them.


Classically trained, Charles’ work is inspired by (and pays homage to) the Renaissance, Impressionist, Idealism and Realism masters; approaching each painting according to the subject matter and essence of the moment being captured.

“There is no right or wrong way to paint a painting, there is just painting.”

And although his techniques may vary slightly with each painting, one still picks up the essence of a vibrant, considered, painterly style that is distinctly his.

“Whether it’s a landscape, still-life, slice-of-life or portrait painting, I approach every piece of art with a view of creating a tangible connection to a moment that shares the simple truth of what it is to be human.“ - Charles Foley

"I strive to create works that transcend the superficial and celebrate our common humanity" - Charles Foley


Previous works and exhibitions:


1994 - Exhibition at National School of Arts Gallery - “A day at the races”

- Series of 2 x oil paintings of horseracing

2001 - Exhibition at The South African Lippizaners -  “Lipizzaner Studies” - Pastel studies and series oil paintings of the South African Lipizzaners

2002 - Private exhibition - “New York Angels”  - Series of oil paintings of women in New York

2020 - Street exhibition - “Walk-by Art” - series of oil paintings produced during Covid-19 lockdown period

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