Riaan van Zyl

Riaan van Zyl


Riaan has always been an artist.  

Having completed his BA(FA) Honors in 2001 through UNISA and having exhibited internationally and locally in numerous solo and group exhibitions, Riaan van Zyl continues to push the boundaries of contemporary art and classical techniques and concepts. He is always looking for original projects and interesting subject matter, living out his passion for art.

Since the start of Riaan's career, he has taken primary inspiration from every day, ordinary ideas and his perception of things around him, effectively capturing its fascination and value with a de-constructed eye. At first glance his work looks abstract and confusing but the results have their own very personal syntax, punctuation and orchestration. They become almost a performance of movement rather than a standard drawing.


"The faster we move the less we see the details. We are missing the basics." Riaan slows down time by energetically hurling and pouring old car oil, charcoal and paint on different surfaces and presents us with static images that vibrate with movement.

Riaan van Zyl is diacritical, taking inspiration from commonplace and ordinary ideas while exploring his impression and apprehension of things around him. He re-imagines their context and value with a deconstructed eye.

While at first glance his work may look abstract and confusing, the results have their own very personal structure, movement, punctuation and composition. The focus in his work relies heavily on challenging the viewer to see everyday things in a different light. He loves working in experimental media, such as old car oil, anthracite and cobalt salts. Riaan is now playing with the concept of interactivity through an expressive coaction and movement. He is testing a new way to explore the contemporary frontiers offered by unique media.

Riaan has exhibited internationally and locally in over 30 solo shows and group exhibitions, and his works hang in prestigious art collections around the world.