MIES (Marisa de Jager) is a South African artist based in the small town of Groblersdal. In 2013 she made the decision to quit her tertiary education in order to pursue a career as an artist. Early in her career she painted under her real name, and there are still a few examples of her work signed “Marisa”. In 2014 she made the decision to paint under her childhood nickname and MIES was born.
Initially MIES sold works out of hand from home. She spent her days painting and honing her skills of using a credit card in place of a paintbrush for all but the finest details in her paintings. During this time she developed an uncanny ability to capture the essence of a subject in a few broad strokes, allowing faces to come to life in mere minutes.
She approached a nearby gallery with the hopes of acquiring representation in a commercial retail space but was initially denied. The gallery owner however offered to let her paint in the gallery one Saturday, and upon seeing the interest her work drew from passers-by, agreed to sell her work through the gallery.
In the years since, demand for her work has soared and she has sold over 200 paintings to date. MIES has held exhibitions throughout South Africa. Her first solo international exhibition is currently running in Germany and has been very well received.
She paints primarily acrylic portraits using a credit card to apply the paint to the canvas, but often experiments with new mediums and subjects.
“A painting can be of a face, but really makes a statement about being human in general. It doesn’t have to be true to reality, but it will always be true to the creator – to the heart that saw it into being.”
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