Born in Austria, Gerhard has lived in South Africa for more than 25 years and developed an early passion for the African wilderness. He is now lucky enough to call the small town of Hoedspruit his home. After many years working in the corporate environment, he has gone back to his passion fulltime of sculpturing particularly in bronze as a medium. Focusing mainly on African wildlife he is now focusing predominantly in Rhino & Cheetah sculptures. Self-taught, instinctual, Gerhard sculpts to capture the spirit of the wild African creatures he has observed. His technique captures the strict anatomical correctness and essential movement and attitudes of his subjects.
An image normally inspires an idea for a sculpture. Gerhard uses photographic references and sculpts from his instinctive knowledge and study of his subject. Using his hands and sculpturing clay combined with various shaping tools he works surprisingly quickly to flesh out the form of a new sculpture. His sculptures aim to reflect an exact anatomical replica remaining the expression of the living animal. Gerhard works on numerous sculptures in varying stages simultaneously of completion. The completed clays will be in the studio for several months, allowing ample time to rework and change minor details.
All of Gerhard’s sculptures are cast in bronze by specialist art foundry Bronze Art Africa in White River, using the ‘Lost Wax’ method. Raw bronze is a coppery colour and is usually given a patina both to enhance and protect the sculpture. Patination can produce a very wide range of colours and enhancement of textures. Finally the sculpture is coated with beeswax and polished. Gerhard works on his sculptures through the entire process at the foundry and also works on the patina to enhance the desired look and feel of his final product.
Gerhard’s vision of combining art with supporting wildlife initiatives has become reality. The commitment is that each Rhino sculpture will include a certain percentage of the sales price to an organisation.