Johan Wilke, photographer and friend, dies at 59

Photographer Johan Wilke, highly regarded locally and internationally as a leading photographer, has died at 59.  His work traversed the fields of fashion, beauty, food, advertising and art where he excelled at documentary photography. 
It was with great sorrow that we at Stellenbosch Visio learnt of the death of photographer Johan Wilke, a highly respected contributor to the magazine and a dear friend.
Wilke, who was born in the Karoo, specialized in fashion, beauty, food and advertising photography, but documentary photography was his passion. He has regularly travelled abroad to Europe, China, India and Cuba and his work has been exhibited at numerous exhibitions.
“Johan was a true artist and a superb visual storyteller. In the 18 years we have been collaborating, I came to admire the versatility of his talent (action shots, landscapes, food, fashion, documentary photos) and his relentless striving for excellence.” – Petro du Toit, creative director of Stellenbosch Visio
At Stellenbosch Visio, where words are often subservient to the inspirational pictures, Johan extended that magic and became one of our most influential and beloved photographers from our very first issue. Johan worked locally and internationally for many high-end clients and magazines. He photographed numerous celebrities including Steve Hofmeyr, Minki van der Westhuizen, Nico and Christi Panagio and Jo-Ann Strauss. “Johan was the ultimate professional, but with no ego, and the kindest of hearts, always willing to work for free on charitable projects. He loved beauty and understood light and darkness intuitively. We will miss him dearly,” said Petro du Toit. Johan shot some of Stellenbosch Visio’s most striking covers and inside features.