Johann Steyn Bio

David Griessel Bio


Johan qualified as a diesinker and engraver in 1992. But, he realised that painting was his first love. Playing in his dad’s studio, the smell of art and paint intoxicated him: ‘I think I could paint before I could talk’. One could imagine a small boy’s fascination with birds, his first subjects. Batik and drawing were his first endeavours. But, when the boy turned into a man, he knew that he wanted to ‘say’ more.

Johan started his artistic career as a professional engraver at the South African Mint. He designed and developed circulation and collector coins for several countries including South Africa. Sculpting and modelling with clay and Plaster of Paris offered him a sense and understanding of the way that light influences shade. ‘I modelled by using light and shade to communicate form.’ Such shallow modelling allowed for little room for error. He believes that this prepared him for the oil painting that followed.

Johan realised that much as with sculpting and batik, colours take on their own form with oils. And suddenly, he maintains, there was an entirely new and challenging addition to his art. He still plays around with sculpting as well as machining and printing advanced metals in 3D. But those projects are saved for future inspiration.