About Ryno

Self-portrait in progress

Get to know Ryno

"I love art, and I love being different, and hopefully my work conveys that." 

Brief history

Ryno van Eeden is of Flemish-Dutch and French-Italian descent, and was born in 1983 in Pretoria, South Africa. He later moved to the United Kingdom where he still resides. Ryno has been painting and sketching for over 25 years, with his work exhibited in South Africa and the United Kingdom. Ryno grew up on the outskirts of Pretoria, in the small town of Hartbeespoort, which was filled with renowned South African artists who influenced and inspired him to develop his artistic abilities from an early age. Ryno's parents are avid art collectors, and he grew up in a home where art was appreciated and visible. He received private tutelage from celebrated artists such as Elly Holm, Cornelia Holm, Edoardo Villa and Bettie Cilliers-Barnard.

Ryno is especially inspired by the works of his favourite artists such as William Kentridge, Olaf Bischoff, Walter Battiss, Dumile Feni, Maggie Loubser, Noria Mabasa, Vladimir Tretchikoff, Willem Pretorius, and Jono Dry. There are, however, a multitude of artists that influence, and fuel his passion for art.

Art became part of his life at an early age

Ryno participated in his first art exhibition in 1992 at the age of eight, at the Hartbeespoort Arts Festival, where his artistic talent was first recognized. He won a gold medal for his painting, "Frogs at a pond". The painting was also selected for the Transvaal department of Education's year calendar of 1993, and featured as the cover for the month of April.

He held his first solo exhibition two years later in 1994, aged ten, at the Voortrekker Monument Museum, organised by the Transvaal Department of Arts and Culture, in collaboration with the Afrikaanse Taal en Kultuur Vereniging (Afrikaans Language and Culture Society). The museum acquired two of his works as part of their permanent collection. The first work was a painting called "Moedertaal" (Mother Tongue), and the other was called "Moeg" (Tired), a clay sculpture depicting the face of a weeping man. He sold his first artwork at the age of eleven when collaboratively exhibiting as a student with the Cornelia Holm Art School. 

In 2002, Ryno won first prize for his painting called "The New South Africa",which was showcased for four weeks at the National Gallery in Cape Town. The work was acquired by the SASOL Foundation Trust and is on permanent loan to the Pretoria Art Museum. Later that year, Ryno had the honour of being selected by Italian sculptor, Edoardo Villa, for master classes in abstract art. During these sessions at Villa's home in Johannesburg, Ryno produced four pieces, one of which depicts the evolution of man. The University of Pretoria acquired the work which is now part of their permanent collection. 

Ryno received a scholarship to study at The University of Pretoria where, in 2003, he had the privilege of being introduced to world-renowned artist, Bettie Cilliers-Barnard. Although Cilliers-Barnard was retired and no longer offered apprenticeships, she agreed for Ryno to spend time with her at her home studio in Pretoria (usually until the early hours of the morning, sometimes interrupted by a visit from the famous opera singer, Mimi Coertze), where she encouraged him to explore the fusion of abstract and contemporary styles. One of the pieces he created whilst under her tutelage was called "Escaping knowledge", and now forms part of the permanent collection of The Standard Bank Art Gallery, after it had won gold at the Standard Bank SA Young Artists Awards in 2003. 

It started to become more than a hobby

Whilst furthering his studies, Ryno continued to explore different artistic styles, continuously adapting to new methods and mediums, where he had both successful and unsuccessful exhibitions. In 2008, Ryno presented one of his artworks to the then South African State President, Kgalema Motlanthe, which is called "The African Renaissance", a term coined in a famous speech by Motlanthe's predecessor, Apartheid Struggle Hero, Thabo Mbeki. The Minister of Arts and Culture at the time, Nathi Mthethwa, selected the work to become part of a new collection of art for the office of the presidency at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. It was during this time that Ryno realized he wanted to develop his hobby into something more serious. 

Ryno received his first official commission in 2009, from the then speaker of the National Assembly, Max Sisulu. This work depicts the celebration of unity during the 2010 World Cup Football Tournament which was held in South Africa and was incorporated into the vast art collection of the Houses of Parliament in Cape Town. 

Ryno's work forms part of several national and international private- and corporate art collections, either acquired through galleries or commissions. For more information about collector loans or commissions, please email us at info@artryno.com.

Ryno is a full member of the Royal Academy of Arts London, the Visual Arts Network of South Africa, and the Africa South Art Initiative. He has donated artworks in support of Autism -and Mental Health Awareness. For more information about donations and charities he supports, please write to us at info@artryno.com.

His other interests

Apart from being a visual artist, Ryno is also a musician, holding qualifications in Music from The Royal Schools of Music, Trinity College London, and the University of South Africa. Since an early age, he has played the violin, having performed with several orchestras such as the UP Symphony, The Pretoria Symphony, The Johannesburg Symphony, and the Pretoria Youth Philharmonic. Ryno also sang in several award winning choirs such as the North-Gauteng Youth Choir, UP Youth Choir, TUKS Camerata, and most recently with the Akustika Chamber Singers, currently ranked the second best choir in the world by Interkultur.

Ryno loves the theatre and regularly attends live performances of musicals, operas and various other plays and concerts. His taste in music ranges from very peculiar to very mainstream...as long as it sounds good to him, he'll put it on his playlist. He tries to travel as often as he can and, although he loves a bit of luxury, he prefers the low-key and off-the-beaten-track style of travel. Bring on the dodgy dives, alleyways, and hidden local hot spots. 

Apart from creating art, Ryno also loves collecting pieces from other artists. His home and studio are filled with art from all walks of life. 

In his other spare time, Ryno runs marathons, hikes wherever he can and, with moderate success, tries to remain standing upright on his paddle board. He is currently trying his hand at cycling and contemplating taking up surfing. Ryno loves cooking and feeding friends and family and can often be found in the kitchen creating new dishes.

Ryno has a nerdy side and is a Senior Business Architect with tertiary qualifications in Business Management, Information Systems Design, Theoretical Physics, Mathematics in Statistics and Economics, and Informatics. Ryno is a member if the Royal Institute of Sciences London, as well as a member and contributor of the International Business Architecture Guild's body of knowledge (BizBOK). He is also a member of the International Institute of Business Analysis and previously held the BABOK certification (CBAP). He has spoken and presented at various local and international seminars, workshops and conferences and has been nominated for- and won multiple industry awards with his teams. Ryno is involved in mentorship programs with various innovation hubs where he facilitates and guides strategy- and business development. He is currently focusing his research on the use of Artificial Intelligence for the acceleration of business analysis and requirements engineering. 

Meet Ryno

The person behind the art.

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