ARTIST

Diek Grobler self portrait
One of many self-portraits by Diek Grobler (2014)

 

Diek Grobler is an award-winning South African artist working in a variety of media and disciplines – including painting, illustration, performance art, and animation.

If forced to classify his work, the term Magic Realism gets closest to what he attempts to achieve. Grobler’s work is inspired by seemingly insignificant common occurrences which, when scrutinized more closely, contain human drama. Everyday ideas are placed in new and unusual contexts, heightening their ‘strangeness’.

A recurring theme is the relationship between spirituality and reality with the use of biblical narratives depicted in a contemporary context. Humour and irony are the tools he uses to subvert expectation. To view a catalogue of his work, please visit:

Oil painting by Diek Grobler from 2011. Diek often situates himself in his paintings, creating an ongoing narrative about his life and world throughout his career. If forced to label himself in terms of genre, he calls himself a ‘Magic Realist’.

In 2011 Jorike Langerman completed her dissertation on a monograph of Diek Grobler’s life and work up until 2009. In her introduction she writes:

“Grobler has a fascination for stories. He blends tales of traditional Western mythology, African mythology, Christian religion, folklore and magical realism into narrative artworks. Through visual metaphors the artist comments on the everyday human dramas that surround him – be they political, social, psychological or cultural.”

She continues:

“My research reflects the diverse nature of Grobler‟s oeuvre as it investigates works from various artistic genres such as painting, sculpture, illustration, performance art, avant-garde theatre and animation. It also examines a blend of different artistic media such as ceramics, oil paint, gouache, pastels, scraperboard, earthenware, 2D computer animation, puppetry, and stop-motion animation.”

Download Jorike’s dissertation here: (11MB, PDF format)

Oil paintings by Diek Grobler, early career.
Oil paintings from Diek Grobler’s early years. His sense of humour and irony are refreshing and playful – reflecting his talent for visual narrative, one that would serve him well when he turned to anuimation in 2000.

Diek Grobler obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Arts at the University of Pretoria in 1987, completing his Masters Degree at the University of the Witwatersrand in 1996. He is currently completing a Doctor of Philosophy degree in animation at the University of South Africa.

Grobler has exhibited professionally since 1988 and his work is included in several major public and corporate collections. Throughout his illustrious career he has experimented and worked in a wide variety of media, and in 2000 animaiton became one of his primary passions.

Diek Grobler lives and works in Pretoria.

For a more detailed outline and chronology of Diek’s extensive career, please visit his filmography and curriculum vitae page.

Collage by Diek Grobler. Grobler works in a wide variety of media (2010).
Scraperboard compilation of works by Diek Grobler (2005).
Gouache paintings by Diek Grobler (2004).
Pencil and ink drawing by Diek Grobler (2000).

PROJECT LINKS

Daily diary series from the Fifty Years project by Diek Grobler, 2014.
‘I Love Paris in Springtime’ daily diary series by Diek Grobler, 2016.
‘LastWord’ animation storyboard by Diek Grobler, 2016.