Kimberley born, Trevor Stuurman, is an award winning contemporary visual artist and stylist, with honours such as Time Magazine Next Generation Leader 2021 and listed in Forbes 30 under 30 top creatives in Africa.
Ever since he burst onto the South African Creative scene, scooping the Elle Style Reporter title in 2012, Trevor has easily cemented himself as a creative force to be reckoned with.
His work can be seen on Instagram, film, art galleries, acclaimed catalogues in fashion and art publications from Vogue to residencies such as Always Welcome Store. His solo exhibition entitled “Home” – a love letter to the Himba women of Namibia enjoyed a successful run at the Hazard Gallery in Johannesburg.
Subsequently, Trevor has exhibited in a group exhibition at DIGITALIA; The Art and Economy of Ideas in San Francisco at The Museum of the African Diaspora. Trevor has curated his own installations; “Teleporting into Afrika” and “This is Home” for the Absolut One Source Live Creative Festivals and “This is Home” at the Motsepe Foundation’s Mandela 100 Summit.
Trevor has cemented himself as a co-pilot having enjoyed partnerships with local and global brands such as Mini as a brand ambassador, Standard Bank, Superga, Simon and Mary, Vlisco, Laurence Airline Official, Mont Blanc, Gucci, Chanel, Tongoro, Sunglass Hut and Disney’s Black Panther film.
He has collaborated with artists such as Black Coffee, Ciara and Nelson Makamo, with his most recent work serving as stylist for Beyoncè’s Black is King film and photographer for the official beauty campaign for the Coming to America sequel.
Trevor’s work with global humanitarian foundations includes the United Nations, Gates Foundation, the Auma Obama Foundation to document former American President, Barack Obama.
Trevor has been recognised as Marie Claire Magazine’s Image Maker 2018 recipient, Design Indaba’s Most Beautiful Object of 2020 and a commissioned photographer for the UN Gender Equality Conference 2021 in partnership with Tongoro for Speak Africa.
Described as “A cultural force” by CNN African Voices feature, Trevor continues to hone in on his creative eye and centres diverse beauty and fashion. He has captured the likes of Teyana Taylor at the New York Fashion Week (2017), supermodels – Naomi Campbell, Shanelle Nyaisase, Gigi & Bella Hadid, and Imaan Hammam and the Arise Fashion Week Nigeria (2018).
As a British Vogue contributor, Trevor’s work at Arise and Afro Punk Johannesburg has made him a sought-after photographer able to capture inclusive representations of beauty, culture and fashion expression. Declared South Africa’s GQ Style “King of Creativity” it is no wonder he believes that “being African is his superpower”
Q & A with Trevor
Tell us a little bit about your career and how you started?
I am a photographer and visual artist. I studied a BA (Hons) Motion Picture and Live Performance. I guess it really started when I was very, very young. Creativity is in my DNA.
What projects are you currently working on?
I am currently exhibiting at Doyle Wham in London. Also, super exciting for my first solo exhibition in my own country South Africa this week. A place called Home opens on Friday in Johannesburg at BOTHO Project Space. I have a few other exciting projects in the works so watch this space.
What is your favourite thing about what you do?
The freedom of self-expression and contributing a new visual language that never existed before. I feel like my work is about writing and rewriting history.
What is your best career highlight so far?
Working on Black is King, a film by Beyoncé.
If you could give some advice to someone starting their career journey, what would it be?
Trust the process but above all, trust yourself.
How did your career in the industry begin?
Back in 2012, I won the Elle Style Reporter Search. That fast tracked my career to where I am today. All those endless hours of hard work paid off.
How do you think we can grow the creative industry and bring African content to the world?
The industry is not short of talent but we definitely need more platforms. The internet has been instrumental in pushing authentic African stories and telling our story in real-time.
Have you ever been to Cape Town? If so, what makes you love Cape Town and if not, what about it makes you want to go?
Besides my actual home town, Cape Town is one of my favourite places in the world. I first went to Cape Town in my youth to study, but have been back hundreds of times for both work and pleasure. Cape Town is simply beautiful and serene, good food, nice people. Who wouldn’t want to go there all the time.
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