Rain Gavin
Gavin Rain

Gavin Rain, born in Cape Town in 1971, is considered one of the greatest contemporary representatives of neo-pointillism or pixelism. Through the use of acrylic, he simulates the pixels in the construction of the image as if the canvas were a TV or PC screen. Hence the “hidden in plain sight” technique.

At a close distance, Rain’s paintings appear to be an abstract and punctiform set of colors but if the viewer moves away, up to a distance calculated by the artist, he recognizes the subject of the painting: the faces of some icons of world showbiz.

Rain studied art and neuropsychology at the University of Cape Town. Initially he had planned to study architecture, to try to combine his two interests: art and mathematics.

The participation of the viewer, not only as a vision but as a body in movement, is a fundamental aspect of Rain’s work. Thanks to its movement within the exhibition space, the work passes from an abstract stage to a concrete image – and vice versa. The distance from the observation point, the depth of vision, the condition of the light and the perspective become interactive elements and act on the fruition of the work up to the complete recognition of the image.

One of the most important messages of his poetics concerns the ambiguity of the work of art. Only from the right distance does the image take shape and reveal itself. For this reason pixelism or neo-pointillism, combined with artistic mastery, becomes an ideal compositional procedure. Arriving at neo-pointillism in 2004, Rain delved into neuroscience studies. The distance between the dots that will recompose the image refers to the “pseudo digital”, a terrain where the research on the size and distance of the pixels – which the artist simulates with small concentric dots of acrylic paint, in different colors and forms – joins the theory of neuroscientific perception.

Rain has created more than 14,000 different dots of color as a list, from which he draws for his works. The work concerns not only the choice and magnitude of point colors but also their relationship with the white space of the underlying canvas. Image and image reception are two inseparable elements in the information age and Rain assumes the paradigm as an artistic motto.

Rain’s goal is to broaden people’s visual and cognitive horizons by showing them the fantastic and the impossible. Combining his origins, his studies, his attitudes and his personal talent, Rain has invented an art that is both unique and participatory. Anyone who looks at one of his paintings can perceive the convergence of two opposing pictorial styles: the abstractness of the multitude of colored concentric circles that gather in dense and imperfect points in relief, and the figurative aspect of the image which is defined by the sum of these same points as the viewer takes a few steps back. It is precisely in this backing-off that the message intended by the artist is found: to gain awareness of something that is hidden but right in front of your eyes, or hidden in plain sight, you have to move away by moving backwards. His art is a clear invitation to “detach”, to create a certain distance in life, because, as Gestalt psychology maintains, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

His international fame has led him to become one of the leading artists on the contemporary South African scene, so much so that FIFA commissioned the artist 12 portraits for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, held in South Africa. Contemporary paradigm and pointillism, abstract and figurative, technical mastery and in-depth scientific studies, together with the involvement of the viewer and admirable attention to the exhibition space, make Gavin Rain a unique artist on the contemporary art scene.

In 2011 he took part in the 54th Venice Art Biennale in the Pavilion of the Republic of Costa Rica with a portrait of the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Aung San Suu Kyi. In 2013 he presented a work entitled Lena for the pavilion of the Republic of Bangladesh.

Gavin Rain Audrey acrilico su tela cm. 100 x 100


Acrylic on canvas – cm. 100 x 100

Gavin Rain Beyonce acrilico su tela cm. 100 x 100


Acrylic on canvas – cm. 100 x 100

Gavin Rain. Marilyn Monroe acrilico su tela cm. 180 x 180

Marilyn Big

Acrylic on canvas – cm. 180 x 180

Gavin Rain. Not Yet. Acrilico su tela cm. 120 x 180


Acrylic on canvas – cm. 120 x 180

Gavin Rain. Indirect acrilico su tela cm. 150 x 150


Acrylic on canvas – cm. 150 x 150

Gavin Rain Olivia Wilde. acrilico su tela cm. 120 x 120

Olivia Wilde

Acrylic on canvas – cm. 120 x 120

Gavin Rain Anna Karina acrilico su tela cm. 100 x 100

Anna Karina

Acrylic on canvas – cm. 100 x 100


Cape Town (Sudafrica), “Gavin Rain”, WorldArt Gallery.
Amsterdam (Paesi Bassi), “One Step Back”, Smith-Davidson Gallery.


Poltu Quatu (Italia), “Iconic Dots”, Simon Bart Gallery.


Texas (USA), “Neopointillism”, Visual Arts Committee, A & M University, College Station.
Amsterdam (Paesi bassi), Smith-Davidson Gallery.


Dallas (USA), “Michael Laube & Gavin Rain: Illusion”, Laura Rathe Fine Art.
Venezia (Italia), Bugno Art Gallery, Venice.
Città del Messico (Messico), Galeria Alfredo Ginocchio.
Houston (USA), “Icons”, Laura Rathe Fine Art.


Genova (Italia), Cerruti Arte.


Amsterdam (Paesi bassi), “From A Distance”, Leslie Smith Gallery.


Venezia (Italia), “Gavin Rain Supernatural part. 1”, Bugno Art Gallery.
Viterbo (Italia), “Gavin Rain-Lena”, Kyo Art Gallery.


Cape Town (Sudafrica), “Cityscapes”, WorldArt Gallery.


Cape Town (Sudafrica), VEO Gallery.
Kwazulu-Natal (Sudafrica), “Demonstration: Heritage Festival”, Kizo Gallery.


Cape Town (Sudafrica), Patrice Boussekey Eclectic Gallery.
Johannesburg (Sudafrica), “Russian brides”, WorldArt Gallery.


Cape Town (Sudafrica), VEO Gallery.


Houston e Dallas (USA), “20 Years Celebration”, Laura Rathe Fine Art.
Cabo San Lucas (Messico), Art Week Cabo, Uniq Luxury.
Venezia (Italia), “Seen anything interesting?”, Bugno Art Gallery.
Kifisià (Grecia), Artion Gallery.
Barcellona (Spagna), Villa Del Arte.
Ginevra (Svizzera), Artion Gallery.
Cleveland (USA), District Art Gallery.


Londra (Inghilterra). “Quantum”, House of Fine Art.


Amsterdam (Paesi bassi), “Summer Loving”, Smith-Davidson Gallery.
Venezia (Italia), “25th Anniversary of the Bugno Art Gallery”, Bugno Art Gallery.


Londra (Inghilterra), Contini Art UK.
Genova (Italia), Cerruti Arte.
New York (USA), Nassau Museum, Long Island.
New York (USA), Unix Gallery.
Venezia (Italia), Bugno Art Gallery.
Cape Town (Sudafrica), WorldArt.
Città del Messico (Messico), Galerie Alfredo Ginocchio.
Philadelphia (USA), E-Modern Gallerie.


Miami (USA), Avant Gallery.
Bruxelles (Belgio), Automne Art Gallery.
Saint-Tropez (Francia), Belair Fine Art.
Venezia (Italia), “Supernaturalism”, Bangladesh Pavilion for the Venice Biennale.
Antibes (Francia), Galerie Bartoux.
Amsterdam (Paesi bassi), Leslie Smith Gallery.
Sardegna (Italia), Arte per Capita.
Genova (Italia), “La bellezza salverà il mondo”, Cerruti Arte.
Roma (Italia), “Metamorfosi”, Palazzo Firenze.
Cortina d’Ampezzo (Italia), Ruffino Art Gallery.


Venezia (Italia), Costa Rica Pavilion for the Venice Biennale.
Toscana (Italia), Per Capita.
Zurigo (Svizzera), “ART van der Brugge”.
Arezzo (Italia), Per Capita.


Kwazulu-Natal (Sudafrica), “FineArt 2010”, Kizo gallery.
Cape Town (Sudafrica), “With Keith Calder”, E-Piphany Fine Art.
Franschhoek (Sudafrica), “Angels”, Grand Provence.


Venezia (Italia), “African Wave exhibition II”.
Trieste (Italia), “African Wave exhibition I”.


Kwazulu-Natal (Sudafrica), “Erotica Exhibition”, Kizo Gallery.
Treviso (Italia), “African Wave exhibition 0”.


Oudtshoorn (Sudafrica), “Group exhibition: in the Flesh!”, KKNK.


Cape Town (Sudafrica), VEO gallery with Richard Scott.