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Human, Gerhard

Gerhard Human

Gerhard Human was born in 1980 in Bloemfontein, South Africa. He studied graphic design and applied arts and graduated from the Technikon in Pretoria in 2002. His works functions as insightful windows into the disjunct of human nature. Human currently works as a creative director at the animation studio Masters and Savant. He has exhibited in galleries in South Africa, Amsterdam, New York and Sydney and is published online and in print.

Human often depicts outlaws, punks and misfits defined by their shift from the expectations of the norm. He uses minimalist colour to depict these post- apocalyptic wanders in desolate environments within a variety of media. The works are not intended to be overtly provocative and Human achieves this in his subtle merger of contemporary cool gestures within a politically charged idea. He symbolically uses elements like gold and stone to reflect identifiable themes of contemporary greed, royalty and pride that he sees as endemic to the civilizing concerns of culture. Repetition and pattern are harnessed to demonstrate the cyclical nature of history. His titles inform the images, economically narrating a complex notion of identity, place and politics.

Artist’s statement

Most of my work plays on the notion of desolation, but with a strong underline mood of uncertainty and exploration. Throughout my life I’ve been drawn to areas of uncertainty and I believe now that the process of seeking answers is often much more in line with our humanity than finding the answers.

A big part of this process involves mark making. Religious and ritualistic groups often use patterns and designs on a large scale. Attaching a great deal of emotion to their visual language. Through the course of history this too have been used as tools to confuse and manipulate naïve followers. Juxtaposing recognizable motives with modern political and cultural ideologies conveys across the absurdities of some of these issues. I don’t claim to have the answers to much of the problems but I hope through my work to point out the common ignorance around us through the subtleties of culture.

My landscape work depicts scenes of desolation and harsh terrain. The unfriendly nature of giant rock formations and hard geography has an opposite effect on the visitor though. Great thinkers throughout history often chose the desert as a space to think and find clarity. I want to capture the essence of his landscape that has such a profound effect on our psyche. Strong colour and opposing hues are used to simplify but still retain severity. Detail becomes textural and softens in it’s complexity. I feel compelled to capture these ancient giant rocks and render them in a way that conveys the feeling that I was left with.


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