Damien Grivas

Fine Art and Workshops.


Born: 11th July 1967, Johannesburg, South Africa

I left Saheti School in 1984 to continue my art training at The National School of Arts as the next step to a career in art.
I graduated in 1986 and joined the South African Defence Force in 1987 to do my (then) compulsory 2 years of national service. In 1989 I went to Europe for nine and a half months to milk cows in France, cook meals for the staff of a small family owned hotel in London, spend some quiet time in a monastery in Israel and work as a tour guide in Greece.

I returned to South Africa and worked briefly as a waiter before beginning a career in “paint finishes and plaster effects”. Some of my more memorable projects include:

The home of South African businessman William Barlow 
The palace of King Masweti III of Swaziland
Function rooms at the Johannesburg Civic Theatre
The Maputo Holiday Inn
The Johannesburg, Airport Sun Inter-Continental Hotel
The home of Mr Bill Venter
The head office of Deloitte and Touche
The home of Mr Kaiser Motaung
The ceiling of the food court at Sandton City
The head office of M-Net and DSTV

I have painted sets and backdrops for many films and commercials including:

The Wild Coast Sun Casino
Brutal Fruit
Automobile Association
…..and hundreds of dubious infomercials

I began experimenting with silicone and mould making whilst drawing and designing various ranges of products for the home and decor industry. I started with a small stand at a local flea-market in Johannesburg where I was approached by a few designers and shops that were interested in selling my range and developing ideas of their own. I now supply shops throughout South Africa whilst  manufacturing exclusively for many other designers and private buyers both in Africa and abroad.

For now I work from a home-studio. Everything is handmade. Each piece is unique and the tiny “flaws” imperfections, bubbles and discolourations are what give each item their organic uniqueness.

Everything I make starts off as a drawing; either one of my own or a client’s. I then interpret the drawing in either foam, clay, plaster or wax before making  the prototype after-which I  make all my own moulds for casting. I hand finish everything myself. It can take up to six months of playing around and experimenting with materials to perfect a product.