Everything that epitomized my sense of absences and the crowds within, this city - all was there, in front of me - that very day, in the Gallery on the Square, and it was like discovering Karl or even - Julio Cortazar in the days of youth. I should have bought this work there and then, and even later, when I contacted Hermann and had a few chats .. but thats another story within the story, like Pat Metheny would say :-)
So, here we are .. We have a poet with a brush - Mr Karl Gietl (far away in another South), and here we have an Artist who writes documentaries .. again using a brush. Documentaries in red yellow and gentle black - the color of twilight in rainlight - of how this city is (or was?), how this city will be in your memory - once you get to see it through his eyes.
If you only see this city and not only look at it often from afar, cautious and not taking chances ..
There is a fine line between the ordinary that looks special and often new and the extraordinary which looks normal, yet is so intimate and so "there" .. For me, Hermann's art fits the latter in a beautiful "deja vu" way .. The feeling of "finding yourself" when walking through Hermann's Jozi, downtown in the red and black drama of streets and buildings - washed in the rain and basking in this Jozi-only-light .. Have i died and gone to Heaven ?!
The city that sleeps in the sun and is wide awake in twilight. And yes - Karl left the door wide open - I'd like to humbly present to you a great artist, a documentalist of my heart - Mr Hermann Niebuhr !
Everard Reed, Rosebank, March 2012