Riaan van Zyl, born in 1976, continues to push the boundaries of contemporary art and classical techniques and concepts. Studied Contemporary Fine Arts at UNISA, van Zyl got his bachelor's degree in 2000 which was the start of his professional art career. He participated in many group exhibitions and exhibited at various galleries around the world.
“The faster we move the less we see the details. We are missing the basics” Riaan says. Van Zyl hurls and pours old car oil, effectively slowing time and capturing it with a mix of charcoal and paint on different surfaces. The static images vibrate with movement. Exploring and deepening his own impressions and comprehension, Riaan van Zyl searches for and takes inspiration from ordinary things around him. He deconstructs commonplace ideas, and he loves re-imagining them with experimental media - old oil, anthracite, and cobalt salts. Riaan dissects movements and reconstructs their context and value with patient eyes and a hungry mind. He is diacritical. At first glance, his work looks abstract and confusing but the results have their own very personal syntax, punctuation and orchestration. His artworks become almost a performance of movement rather than standard drawings.
Riaan focuses on challenging the viewer to see everyday things in a different light. Let your eyes slow down with his images, arresting the motion the same way a film played in slow motion would. The outcome has its own, very personal structure, punctuating movement through composition. Not unlike his work Riaan has taken time and tirelessly experimented to define his unique and expressive style.
He is playing with the concept of interactivity through expressive cooperation and its moving parts. He is testing a new way to traverse and step beyond the contemporary frontiers, options that are offered by unique media.
Riaan exhibits internationally and locally in South Africa. His works feature in prestigious art collections around the world. In addition to various group shows with The Travelling Art Gallery, his work was presented in a solo exhibition 2022 in Munich/Germany.
An artist with passion, a true alchemist in the arts. In Cape Town, Riaan van Zyl is showing at The Artists Gallery.