David Griessel

David Griessel

Bio

Biography:

David was born (1990) and raised in Bloemfontein. He completed his BA in Fine Arts at the University of The Free State in 2012. He has since then been a full time artists and picture book illustrator. He has exhibited at many galleries in South Africa and also in France during an art residency at Draw International in Caylus. His works are in private collections all over the world.

Inspiration:

My drawings may simply appear to be whimsical fantasy scenes, but in actuality the themes I attempt to visualise are often very serious and extremely personal: My art walks the tightrope between playfulness and solemnity, whimsy and pensiveness. Occasionally I use picture book illustration as an idiom to express my ideas. Illustration in itself is not seen by many as forming part of the ‘Fine Arts’ family, but more as a bastard child spawned in a scandalous union between word and image. My pictures are my own restless bastard children: They are not completely at home in fine art galleries but also not comfortable to be safely encased between the covers of a book, like their creator they feel safest in the periphery, the threshold and the boundary.

Obviously there are themes, metaphors, symbols and concepts that recur throughout my work. An analogy can be made between this and the currents forming channels within the chaos of the sea: The travelling nomad, displacement, alienation, destruction and melancholia are examples of the currents tracing their way in the ocean of my mind. Interspersed among these works are whimsical and often quite arbitrary references to literature that include, Franz Kafka, Nietzsche, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and T.S Elliot. I find equal amounts of inspiration in literature as I do in art history and I often employ a prominent (but also ambiguous) sense of narrative in my drawings.

In summation my art practise is an act of building a parallel universe, one drawing at a time.

David Griessel’s exhibitions and awards

2011

Winner in collaboration with Mine Kleynhans of Fractal Construct Your Skin competition.

2012

Part of Fractal Young Artist’s Exhibition, Penumbra at Oliewenhuis Art Museum
Regional finalist for Absa L’Atelier competition
Part of Group Exhibition, Portal at The Stegman Gallery, Bloemfontein

2013

Part of group exhibition, Prophecy at Grahamstown Art festival
Part of group exhibition, Prophecy at Two by Two studio in Johannesburg
Part of Fine Arts and Affiliated Artists group exhibition at The Vryfees

2014

Part of group exhibition, Bodhi at Gallery on Leviseur, Bloemfontein
Part of group exhibition, In transit at the Platteland Preview in Smithfield
Part of Fine Arts and Affiliated Artists group exhibition at The Vryfees in Bloemfontein
Solo exhibition, Nocturama at Gallery on Leviseur, Bloemfontein
Solo exhibition, Reveries at William Humphreys Gallery, Kimberley

2015

Collaborative exhibition, The Stargazer with Erick Strydom at Gallery on Leviseur
Group exhibition, Fop at the Platteland Preview in Smithfield
Solo exhibition, Night Aquarium at Gallery on Leviseur
Performed live drawing in the award winning play, Let’s Eat Hair at The Free State Art Festival
Night Aquarium exhibition travels and is exhibited at Luvey and Rose in Cape Town
Group exhibition, Heroes at Young Blood Gallery in Cape Town
Selection of works exhibited at The Amazing Pop up Shop in Bello Vista Studios at The Old Biscuit Mill, Cape Town

2016

Solo exhibition, Arboretum at Dylan Thomaz Studio in Cape Town
Group exhibition, Break The Spell at Oude Libertas Gallery in Stellenbosch
Group exhibition, Summer Saloon at The Drawing Room in Cape Town
Group exhibition, Esemble at Gallery on Leviseur in Bloemfontein
Group exhibition, Bestiary at Untitled Studio in Cape Town
Solo exhibition, Musings at The Eye in Cape Town
Dual exhibition with Linki Lutz, Zoologica Fantastica at PJ Olivier Art Centre in Stellenbosch
Solo exhibition, Sylvan at Youngblood Gallery, Cape Town.
Part of Annual Art Fair of Bennet Contemporary, Roodebloem Studios, Cape Town

2017

Dual exhibition, Zoologia Fantastica, with Linki Lutz at Haas Collective, Cape Town
Group exhibition, Mythology/Morphology at Diedericks/Faber Fine Art, Cape Town
Group exhibition, Glimpses of Eden at Imibala Gallery, Somerset West
Group exhibition, Red at Youngblood Gallery, Cape Town
Participated in the artist alley at Fancon Comic Convention at The CTICC, Cape Town
Group exhibition, Nocturnal Meanderings at Youngblood Gallery, Cape Town.
Group exhibition, Winter Art Exhibition at Gallery on Leviseur, Bloemfontein
Group exhibition, A line is a dot that went for a walk at Youngblood Gallery, Cape Town
Group exhibition, Studio Clowder’s Inktober at PJ Olivier Art Centre, Stellenbosch
Participated at The Comic Market, Open Book Festival at The Homecoming Center, Cape Town
Group exhibition, Vanguard at Youngblood Gallery, Cape Town
Group exhibition, Little Jewels at Gallery on Leviseur, Bloemfontein
Group exhibition, Kleine Kunst Uitsalling at Kotze Art Gallery, Bloemfontein
Solo exhibition/Book launch, The Little Books of Mystery at Haas, Cape Town

2018

Group exhibition, Oneirica at Craft and Graft, Cape Town
Solo exhibition/Book launch, The Little Books of Mystery at Gallery on Leviseur, Bloemfontein
Pop up exhibition, Daily Drawings at Kenxt Space, Cape Town
Group exhibition, Step into the shoes at Johann Van Heerden Gallery, Pretoria
Open Studio exhibition at Draw International, Caylus (France)
Book launch / pop up exhibition at Le Tracteur Savant, Saint Antonin
Pop Culture group show at Rust and Vrede Gallery, Cape Town
Group exhibition, Indestructible at Trent Gallery, Pretoria
Group exhibition, Tiny Treasures at Art B Gallery, Cape Town
Group exhibition, Assumption at Trent Gallery, Pretoria
Pop up exhibition, Pictures of the Floating World at Gallery on Leviseur (Bloemfontein) and Knext Art Gallery (Cape Town)
Group exhibition, Studio Clowder’s Inktober at P.J Olivier Art Centre, Stellenbosch
Group exhibition, #paper at Art B Gallery, Cape Town
Group exhibition, Little Jewels at Gallery on Leviseur, Bloemfontein
Books Launch / Solo exhibition, Little Books of Mystery vol 5 – 7 at Haas Collective, Cape Town

2019

Group exhibition, Admin at Untitled Studios, Cape Town
Group exhibition, Nocturnal Meanderings II at Gallery on Leviseur, Bloemfontein
Group exhibition, Ludicrous Emporium at Youngblood Gallery, Cape Town
Group exhibition, Chui ta ka ma, Johann van Heerden’s Art Gallery, Pretoria
Solo exhibition, Journeys through Duskland, Craft and Graft, Cape Town
Group exhibition, Salt, Trent Gallery, Pretoria
Group exhibition, The Fantastic Four, Johann van Heerden Gallery, Pretoria
Group exhibition, Arbor Oneirica, Art@Africa, Cape Town
Turbine Art Fair, Johannesburg
Speaker and artist alley participant at Comic Con Africa, Johannesburg
Group exhibition, Women who run with wolves, Breytenbach Gallery, Wellington
Group exhibition, Die Tuin van Digters, Breytenbach Gallery, Wellington

2020

Solo exhibition, Postcards from Duskland, Rust-en-Vrede Gallery, Cape Town
Group exhibition, So much talent in our country, Art@Africa, Cape Town
Group exhibition, Holding our space, Art@Africa, Cape Town
Group exhibition, Blue Dot, Art@Africa, Cape Town
Group exhibition, Sculptures on the cliffs, Hermanus Fynarts, Hermanus, curated by Gavin Young
Group exhibition, Vertical Animal, Fynarts Gallery, Hermanus
Group exhibition, Arbor Oneirica, Julie Miller African Contemporary, Johannesburg

2021

Group exhibition, Whalesong, Art@Africa, Hermanus
Art Fair, Sculptx2021, Melrose Gallery, Johannesburg
Art Fair, This is Art, Cape Town
Group Exhibition, Storytelling, Gallery 2, Johannesburg
Illustration clients:
Lapa Publishers
NB Publishers
New Contrast Literary Journal
Taalgenoot
Tulips and Chimneys

Other Experience:

Artists Residency at Draw International. Caylus, France (2018)

Art Editor at New Contrast Literary Journal (2016 – )

Part of Collective, Studio Clowder (2016 – )

Part of non profit art organisation Fractal ( 2013 – 2015)

Publications:

Die Fynbos Fee (2018)

All of these things are important to me (The Goldilocks Foundation) (2019)

The Geomancer (Sera Blu Publishing) (2019)

New Contrast issue 177 (2017)

Die Beste Suid-Afrikaanse Spookstories (Lapa Uitgewers) (2014)

Die swaeltjie wat nie kon vlieg nie (2014)

Blou is nie n kleur nie (NB Uitgewers) (2017)

Lowbrow Cats (Graffito Press) (2014)

Spreek Die Woord / Break The Spell (2016)

The Collectors Guide to Art and Artists in South Africa (2014)

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