Guy Thesen



About Guy

Guy was born on 22nd June 1961 in Knysna, South Africa. He was educated at Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town where he received a Diploma in Graphic Design in 1986.

After finishing university, Guy was a graphic designer for two years in Johannesburg before working in the Timbivati as a ranger at Ngala Game lodge, Mpumalanga.
He and his wife returned to Knysna in 1990 to help run a family farm, Buffalo Valley Bush Lodges.
He was Oakhill School’s founder art teacher (1992 – 1997)
Since then he has been involved in local conservation ventures and now practices his art full time.

Guy is married to Jo-Ann, and they have two sons, Leo and David.



  • 2017 'Bridges' - National Arts Festival, Grahamstown
  • 2015 'Last Writes' - National Arts Festival, Grahamstown
  • 2013 'Breathe" - Knysna Fine Art
  • 2013 'Contact' - National Arts Festival, Grahamstown
  • 2012 'Family Seeds' - A virtual exhibition
  • 2011 'Artefact' – Knysna Fine Art
  • 2010 'Considering Therianthropes' - Origins Centre, University of the Witwatersrand (WITS), Johannesburg
  • 2009 'Considering Therianthropes' - Knysna Fine Art


  • 2015 Summer Exhibition - Knysna Fine Art
  • 2015 B.O.Y.D.- Knysna Fine Art
  • 2014 Cape Palette - George
  • 2014 Vernissage 6 - Plettenberg Bay
  • 2014 Flow. - Plettenberg Bay
  • 2013 Intersections- Strydom Gallery, George
  • 2012 Knysna Wood Artists
  • 2012 Cape Palette - George
  • 2012 Red Barn - The Crags
  • 2012 Emily Moon - Plettenberg Bay
  • 2012 The Old Goal - Knysna
  • 2011 Strydom Gallery summer exhibition, George
  • 2011 Strydom Gallery winter exhibition, George
  • 2011 Creation Stories - Gallery 2, Johannesburg
  • 2008 With Donvé Branch and Anthony Harris, Knysna Fine Arts
  • 1999 'Still Life' - Knysna Fine Art
  • 1998 'GAROB (the dry land)' - group exhibition, Knysna Fine Art, Knysna
  • 1998 'Forgotten voices of the wild' - Old Gaol
  • 1997 Opening exhibition - Knysna Fine Art
  • 1996 'Radio South Africa' - Kunsthal, Rotterdam & Haus der Kunst de Welt, Berlin
  • 1994 'Group of Six' - Old Gaol Art Gallery, Knysna
  • 1987 End Conscription Campaign - Market Theatre, Johannesburg
  • 1986 'Group of Three' - Upstairs Gallery, Bitou Craft Centre, Knysna
  • 1980-89 Annual Exhibition, Knysna Art Society
Click here to view a selection of previous work

In the years that I have known Guy Thesen, both as friend and dealer, I have realised that he combines the probing curiosity of the scientist with the refined aesthetic of an artist. He is always concerned with the "what if?" questions and the deep structure of our surroundings. His unassuming and diffident manner masks a profound knowledge of, amongst other things, the processes of the natural environment, of palaeontology, of Khoi-San shamans and of our remote past. His pieces are good, finely crafted and intellectually sound – a rare combination indeed.
Trent Read - Art dealer, gallery owner and director of KNYSNA FINE ART