Driaan Claassen is a Cape Town-based designer who creates sculptural objects and functional art.
Born in Johannesburg in 1991, he apprenticed with Otto du Plessis at Bronze Age Foundry in 2015 and has worked primarily in bronze ever since. He is drawn to the material by its ability to portray contrasting states – bronze can be both roughly textured and highly polished, qualities he pushes in order to capture the duality of the physical and internal worlds.
He approaches his work as a visual search for a marriage of opposites – imbuing a static object with the quality of movement, and juxtaposing light and dark, organic and geometric, reflective and matte. He immerses himself in the materiality of his pieces, working intuitively and using handmade processes as much as possible. This is his route to self-reflection and knowledge, a meditative process whereby he engages in dialogue with his inner self.
Claassen was included in Southern Guild’s 2016 exhibition of emerging South African designers, A New Wave, as well as the group shows Graphica (2016) and Natural Selection (2016/2017). Southern Guild has exhibited his work at Design Miami + Design Miami/Basel, GUILD Design Fair, PAD London and Intersect Chicago.