About Ilze

About Ilze
Ilze Coetzee is a South African, who was born in Gauteng in 1982 and now resides in Western Cape (Sea Point).
This promising young artist has been painting for more than a decade and has chosen to make her passion her career.

She specializes in Oil, Acrylics and Pastels with the main theme of her work being African people, which she has been doing under the pseudonym, Ilaai, since 2005. She has also started working in various abstract fields, landscapes & cityscapes that have been received very well from different groups in South Africa.

Since the age of 16 her work has won various prizes and she completed a Bachelor in Fine Arts at the University of Stellenbosch in 2004. Her art is popular in local as well as European markets and has obtained International stature in many instances. Her work has been purchased by buyers from Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, The United States, Italy, France and New Zealand. She’s also been commissioned to produce works of art for Monty Shadow, Paulo Coelho, Reutech Radar Systems (Pty) Ltd. and Miele SA

African Portraits and Paintings

Ilze focuses on colour and character in the people she immortalizes on canvas. The eyes, the colourful apparel and jewelry, the storytelling faces and the ever present feeling of harmonious joy, is the motivation and driving force behind her creations in this area. The nature behind the African tribal traditions, the energy and movement that accompanies the many situations they find themselves in, allow the artist to portray these high levels of energy in her paintings. When these works are viewed, it doesn’t merely stand as a colourful and realistic picture, it immediately draws the viewer into the transcending world of the characters portrayed with the rhythm and emotions passionately enthralling you from within the canvas.

Abstract Colourfields

The artist has always been passionate about the works of Mark Rothko, doing her final year thesis on the psychological implications of his work. The relationship between colour and emotion has been the main guide in her abstract creations, and where her painting tells a story of everyday life, the abstracts portray emotion in its rawest sense. She started experimenting with the abstract works in 2002 and did her first colour fields in 2004, using ordinary passers-by as well as friends and family for models and inspiration. She would paint the colours seen worn by these people upon first glance as a colour field. Starting off with painting sample sizes, she has now moved into taking these and creating larger than life portrayals of them.