Lionel Smit was born in Pretoria, South Africa in 1982. He creates monumental portraiture works on canvas, sculpture, silkscreen, video and public installations. Smit’s work has been exhibited locally and internationally in prestigious galleries, art fairs and public spaces. These include a solo exhibition at the Didrichsen Art Museum, Helsinki and various public sculptures of his being featured in the USA including Union Square, New York City. 

Smit’s painting, Kholiswa, received the Viewer’s Choice Award as part of the BP Portrait Award 2013 at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

He has been a featured artist at the Miami Art Fair 2014 and on the cover of Christie’s catalogue in London 2009. Recent exhibitions include Faces of Identity, a solo exhibition with Everard Read in Londonand Premise, a solo exhibition with Everard Read in Cape Town. In recent years, he has been honoured with a Ministerial Award from the South African Department of Culture for Visual Art. Over the past 10 years he has established a substantial international following with collectors ranging from the Standard Chartered Bank to Laurence Graff Art Collection at Delaire Graff Wine Estate.

Today Smit is based in the Strand, Cape Town. His process as an artist remains adaptive, inventive, and physically engaging. He supports several charities on a regular basis with donations of artworks for auction, including ArtAngels, Wild Aid and the MAD Charity.