David Griessel was born in 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 award winning artist and picture book illustrator. He has exhibited at many commercial galleries and three museums in South Africa and also had an open studio / book launch in France during an art residency at Draw International, Caylus. His work is in private collections all over the world.
My drawings may simply appear to be whimsical fantasy scenes, but in actuality the themes I attempt to visualize 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: The traveling nomad, displacement, alienation, destruction and melancholia are examples of these motifs. Interspersed among my 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 practice is an act of building a parallel universe, one drawing at a time. I call my alternative world, Duskland.