Who is Robert Greeff and what do you do?
I am a visual artist who works primarily in the medium of painting with jaunts into the realms of multi-media. When there is not a paint brush in my hand, I write, jousting with words and ideas, juxtaposed with kaleidoscope of images that surge from my internal landscape and project on to the world around me. The rest of the time I am a Philosopher, Traveler and Reader of Science-fiction and Fantasy.
How would you define your style or art?
From a technical point of view I would hazard that my style is a conversation based on a specialization in “Elements of Design” exploring the dynamism of colour, subtleties of texture and movement in my work, whilst allowing and honouring the “creative impetus” during the “Art making process”. I have notions of an arc in my artistic journey that captures influences of postmodernism and contemporary abstraction accessed from an African milieu, distilled into a specific “Contemporary South African Approach” to Contemporary Art but readily integrated into a Global context.
What inspires your work?
Thematically I have always been very moved and senstive to “The Human Condition”, all the while cultivating an acute observation to matters of Human behaviour. I want to know your stories, how you think and what you feel. As such I attempt to articulate, document and make sense of an investigation into “The Existential”, “The Other”, “Phenomenology” and its account of “Intersubjectivity”. This is played out against several research projects including Quantum Mechanics, Metaphysics, Globalization and Colonialism, the Politics of Gender and Sexuality, Religion and Belief, Hydraulic Despotism, Psychology with an emphasis on Gestalt Theory, Media and Propaganda and recently Ritual and Connectivity. My focus is to capture “Emotional Landscapes” and “Experiential Meanings”…my own and that that of others.
What are you currently working on?
At the moment I am engaged in a series of commissioned paintings for private clients and collectors. I am also in the concept design and pre-production phase of a series of short film projects. I am completing my first novel and editing an anthology of poetry. I am also concept designing a capsule fashion collection. Recently I have become involved with Unsung Art, an online selling platform promoting the sale of affordable Art. I wholeheartedly support the “open” dissemination of South African Art, in a manner that is democratic, economical and educational. It is of great importance to me that my Art also goes beyond the gallery/collector model and reach the “everyman” who appreciates Art but is financially precluded form purchasing Art, particularly in South Africa.
What advice would you give young creatives looking to do what you do?
As an Art practioner or Creator of Art, I advocate and encourage learning as much as you can. It is an open never-ending journey into ones given talent and skill set. Equipping yourself with technique, application and product knowledge should always be upfront in ones Art making process. A handy piece of advice I was given as a young creative was “You should know the rules, so that you can break the rules”. It has stood me in good stead ever since. Its not just important to have a “voice”, you should have “something to say” too. Take advantage and rise to the occasion of any opportunity that comes your way regarding media, exposure and workshops. This is also a business, it is vital that you learn to represent yourself professionally, have a working knowledge of marketing, negotiation, running costs, copywrite, networking, business plans and strategy. Cultivate a tough skin, not everyone is going to like what you do and rejection is the norm rather than the exception. But keep at it, us Artists are one of the few that leave the world in a better place than we found it. Remember not to take yourself to seriously and always enjoy what you do
Where can our readers follow your work?
I have a presence on www.unsungart.co.za specifically for affordable pieces. I participate as often as I can in the “Thupelo” Art Workshop (for more experimental Art). See www.thupelo.com I can be reached at email@example.com for commissions, collaborations and concept design.