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Artist Focus: The incredibly talented Mr Grivas

This month we’re profiling the work of well-known concrete artist Damien Grivas.

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No stranger to the PPC Imaginarium Awards, Damien Grivas has been involved in the competition since 2013, conducting workshops and bringing his creative input to the PPC Imaginarium exhibitions. This month, Grivas will be conducting a Concrete Art Workshop in Johannesburg for the PPC Imaginarium Awards alongside the competition’s founder, Daniel van der Merwe. The workshop will focus on concrete mould making, mixing and casting. See our Art Journal for details, if you’d like to attend. Here, we chart the career of this dynamic artist and designer…

Grivas’ career began when he attended The National School of Arts in 1984. After spending some time in Europe, he returned to South Africa to pursue a career in plastering and paint effects. Some of his notable works can be found in the palace of King Mswati III of Swaziland, Southern Sun Maputo and the home of former South African soccer player Kaizer Motaung, to name just a few.

His big break came when Maira Koutsoudakis, founder of the internationally acclaimed and multi-award winning Life brand, which encompasses interiors, architecture and creative direction, asked him to supply her company with products. “She then asked if I could make a range of items for North Island, a resort in the Seychelles. Naturally, I said yes to it all, not knowing a thing!” he says in an interview with Visi magazine.

Thereafter Grivas was commissioned to work on a range of projects, including his most recent installation, which he completed for the uber-luxurious restaurant Marble in Johannesburg. The much-praised installation features an elaborately carved wall panel and mouldings, and a macramé curtain screening, a true highlight of the restaurant design.

Concrete and the future

While Grivas dabbles in a range of materials, he has completed an impressive list of projects in concrete, such as the jewellery displays he created for Elegance Jewellers’ Sandton store and the Weinberg Memorial sculpture in Johannesburg. He has also recently launched his own range of home décor products under the label ‘house’.

“I decided to start my own range of home decor products,” he says on his website. “I have hundreds of sketchpads and notebooks lying around my studio filled with lots of spontaneous scribblings and designs, but to develop products takes time and money so I’m starting off small. My range is simply called ‘house’ because I like clean, honest and uncluttered design and my products are essentially for the home. I wanted a word that would embody both of these elements.”

“Almost everything I make from plaster I make in concrete. Concrete has to be one of the most versatile materials on the planet and is very underrated. I am busy developing a huge range of new concrete products,” he adds.

No doubt we’ll be the first to report on the new range. In the meantime, you have the opportunity to see this brilliant artist in person if you attend our Concrete Art Workshop. To view more of his completed projects, visit www.damiengrivas.co.za.

 

 

 

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