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:
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.”
“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)
- Langerman, Jorike (2011) Diek Grobler : an artists monograph with interactive catalogue, University of South Africa, Pretoria
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.
- Fifty years later (2014)
A daily diary for 2014, the year Diek Grobler turned fifty.
- I love Paris in the springtime (2016)
A daily diary for a visit to Paris in 2016 to conduct research for an animation project.
- Last Word (2018)
Project development diary for the animation ‘Last Word’.