Robert’s father was the well known painter Francois Badenhorst and his mother Kathy owned an art gallery. His early childhood memories are of sitting at the base of his father’s easel or being with his mother in her gallery.
With this upbringing one would expect him to follow in the family tradition, but after years of being exposed to the art world, he had reached saturation point. After achieving an E- for art in matric he went off on a tangent and his early employment included waiting on tables and even a stint as an apprentice gunsmith.
It was not long before he came to realise that he really wanted to paint, but was determined not to rely on the family name to find his place in the art world. “My father was well know for his detailed bush veld scenes and paintings of baobab trees. I bought the biggest palette knife I could find and began painting with the brightest colours in my paint box.”
His subjects were quite varied but he kept coming back to rural landscapes and city scenes, enjoying the energy and movement people bring to the street scenes in particular.
In 2011 he decided to open his own gallery and with the help of Big Bad Bruce Weyer found the ideal spot in Clarens, and later opened a second gallery in Dullstroom. “I really enjoy the feedback you get from clients, it is truly rewarding and humbling.”