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Artist settles on West Coast, which fires her soul

One could say that art runs through her veins.

Langebaan artist Danté Ruben developed her love for art at a young age. Being the daughter of artist Don Benzien, she was surrounded by it.

Ruben has been an artist for the last 44 years and, apart from her dad, there were others in the art world who moulded her into what she is today. “My love for oils started at 16 and branched off to many media over the years, but oil always won the day,” she says. “I won’t romanticise the life, but as hard as it was at times I was always destined to be what I am, an artist loving every new creative impulse.”

From paper to canvas, whatever she could use, she made it work in creating her artwork. Landscapes have always been her first love, and remain so. Before settling on the West Coast Ruben first lived in Blouberg, then moved to Somerset West, and from there moved to Hermanus.

“I was always drawn to the beauty of the Overberg, and like many artists before me, significant ones such as Maggie Laubser, Gregoire Boonzaier, Margorie Wallace and Hennie Niemann, to name a few, I was drawn to the creative coastal town of Hermanus.

It was in 2007 that Ruben faced health issues and could not paint for a while. Nevertheless, she went on to work in Niemann’s art gallery, where she was exposed to the rarefied world of collectable art. “For the next two years I was among some of South Africa’s greatest names displayed on the walls of The Art Gallery. The inspiration was plentiful to this thirsting artist trying to discover and reinvent herself.”

Ruben says she credits this chapter of her life to Niemann, who influenced her to switch from landscapes to figurative impressionism.

After almost giving up creating art she continued to work in The Art Gallery as a sales assistant. Niemann inspired her to reignite her passion and she attended a few open demonstrations, which rekindled the creative impulses and they resurfaced.

Now living on the West Coast, which she loves, Ruben hopes as an artist to bring something special to these parts. For art lovers and collectors she is keen to set the journey of her work from her studio and into their homes in motion.

“With love do I forge my mark in the art world, a continuous road of discovery. Sparking the glint in people’s eye and firing their imagination, touching their souls in a profound way, is always my intention.”

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